We often think of graphic organizers as things to be used in writing, but they also make fabulous reading tools. They can be used to visually map the argument of a critical analysis or to (re-)organize plot events in narrative works. They can also be used to categorize characters, vocabulary, events, etc. to help student construct a different understanding of a text they’re reading. Nearly any reading strategy you can think of can make us of a graphic organizer!
While you can ask students to create these on paper, there are also a host of FREE online tools that can be used to create organizers of varying complexity. Popplet (http://popplet.com) allows you to easily create mind-map-like cloud charts, while Lucidchart (www.lucidchart.com) allows for simple creation of complex flowcharts. Google Slides (http://slides.google.com) is also a great tool for graphic organizers – create a different slide for different categories and list events, characters, etc. on the appropriate slide, or use shapes to create simple flow charts. You can also create non-linear organizers by adding links to other slides for navigation.
Want more help on figuring out how to use graphic organizers for reading in your class? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.