What Is a Graphic Organizer?

Dinah Zike is noted for inventing and developing three-dimensional educational manipulatives, also called graphic organizers, that...


...quickly organize, display and arrange data making it easier for students to grasp concepts, theories, processes, facts, and ideas, or to sequence events as outlined in the content standards.

...result in student-made study guides that are compiled as students listen for main ideas, read for main ideas, or conduct research.

...provide a multitude of creative formats in which students can present projects, research, experiment results, and inquiry based reports instead of typical poster board or science fair formats.

...replace teacher-generated writing or photocopied sheets with student-generated print.

...incorporate such skills as comparing and contrasting, cause and effect, and similarities and differences into daily work and long-term projects. For example, these graphic organizers can be used to compare and contrast student explanations of inquiry based questions to explanations currently accepted by scientists.

...continue to "immerse" students in previously learned vocabulary, concepts, generalizations, ideas, theories, etc. providing them with a strong foundation upon which they can build with newly learned knowledge, observations, and concepts.

...can be used by students or teachers to easily communicate data through graphics, tables, charts, diagrams, models and Venn diagrams.

...allow students to make their own journals for recording qualitative and quantitative observations.

... can be used as alternative assessment tools by teachers to evaluate student progress or by students to evaluate their own progress.

...integrate language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science. Note: Dinah has developed a publishing center that encourages the use of time lines, maps, graphs, tables, charts and measurement tools (such as beakers, rain gauges and thermometers) to be incorporated into student communication--written, oral and research based computer projects.

...provide a sense of student "ownership" or investiture in the curriculum.