06 Jul 2018

Graphic Organisers

Graphic Organisers

Since the publication of the EEF Metacognition and Self-Regulation Guidance Report, I have gone a bit bonkers about graphic organisers.

Graphic organisers provide a really clear method of supporting students to develop, organise and summarise their learning. They provide a particularly useful way to scaffold knowledge and the development of ideas. Marzano, Gaddy and Dean’s (2000) What Works in Classroom Instruction identifies seven types of graphic organiser that can be used in the classroom:

1. Descriptive pattern organisers

2. Time/sequence pattern organisers

3. Process/cause-effect organisers

4. Episode pattern organisers

5. Generalisation/principle organisers

6. Concept pattern organisers

7. Use of multiple organisers for the same topic

Recommendation 2 of the EEF Guidance Report refers to the use of graphic organisers and uses the example of a fishbone diagram, shown below, to illustrate the seven step model for explicitly teaching metacognitive strategies. This illustration clearly shows how graphic organisers can be effectively used to support students at each stage.

What Works in Classroom Instruction also provides illustrations of the range of ways in which graphic organisers can be used in the classroom.

Both of these documents have encouraged me to think about my use of graphic organisers. I have regularly used Venn diagrams and flow diagrams in my classroom but haven’t really branched out from these. My Research School colleague, Kate Mouncey, identified some useful websites that provide outlines of graphic organisers that can be adapted for different classroom activities and this has encouraged me to consider how these could be incorporated into my lessons next year.

One particular model that I think will be particularly useful in A Level Sociology is the Frayer Model, shown below. Alex Quigley has written about this here and how it can be used to help students organise their understanding of new and complex vocabulary. I could immediate see how, with some tweaks, this could be incredibly beneficial in such a vocab heavy subject as Sociology.

You can see how I have slightly adapted this model for my classroom here.

If you are interested in exploring the websites Kate identified they are: