Visual/Graphic Organizers

Visual/graphic organizers are the varied types of frames, matrices, grids, webs, and similar forms used to help students structure thinking and present knowledge in a visible format. Visual/graphic organizers assist students in accessing prior knowledge and connecting it to new concepts learned. Organizers help students apply higher-order thinking skills such as comparing and synthesizing information and provide vehicles for the analysis of information such as cause and effect and sequencing. Visual organizers can provide organizational support for independent work, an opportunity to collect thoughts related to a topic before starting a task, and a way to review and consolidate thinking after the completion of a topic or reading.

The teacher:
  • models and demonstrates the use of visual organizers on a consistent basis;
  • introduces a wide variety of visual organizers for various practical applications;
  • uses visual/graphic organizers to access prior knowledge before starting a unit or topic;
  • uses visual/graphic organizers to show connections among concepts in numerous areas (e.g., science and art, classical studies and geography);
  • uses a variety of organizers to stimulate thinking or consolidate learning.

Visual/graphic organizers:
  • present essential information, thereby simplifying and structuring the learning task;
  • make it easier to extrapolate and remember key ideas;
  • can be a dynamic form of “thinking out loud” and problem solving which changes according to the learning context, rather than pre-set pages that students complete;
  • can be used in all subject areas.

Illustrations from the Mathematics Classroom

Foldables (3-D Graphic Organizers)

Frayer Chart
(What is differentiated instruction? - Created by the Yukon Education Intermediate Working Group in 2010-2011)

Math Games Journal

Measurement Graphic Organizers

Number Graphic Organizers

Online Sources (Free)
At you will find:
  • 2-Circle Venn Diagram
  • 3-Circle Venn Diagram
  • 4-Circle Venn Diagram
  • Bone Diagram
  • Comparison Chart
  • Concept Map (elementary)
  • Concept Map (primary)
  • Event Map
  • Family Tree: Three Generations
  • Fishbone Diagram
  • Family Tree: Four Generations
  • KWHL Chart
  • KWL Chart
  • Life Cycle Chart
  • Process Chart
  • Research Notes Chart
  • Spider Map
  • Story Map
  • T-Chart
  • Tree Chart
  • Umbrella Chart

Check out for K-6 graphic organizers.

Create various types of grid/graph paper @
"Charts, Grids, & Graphs Ready To Print " from Mathematics

There are several concept attainment 2D graphic organizer lessons and blackline masters from school district 67 site (BC, Canada.) Check them out at .

Table of Contents
  • Five-Paragraph Essay p.3
  • KWL Chart p.4
  • Time Line p.5
  • Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How p.6
  • Venn Diagram p.7
  • Writing a Persuasive Letter p.8

Venn Diagrams