Way To “GO” With Graphic Organizers is a unit designed to introduce Grade 3 students to the use of graphic organizers as an aid to independent writing tasks. This unit for writing instruction utilizes basic skills of organization and note taking. Attention will focus on setting up graphic organizers and providing opportunities to practice reflective writing. Models will be set up for narrative and letter writing to meet the requirements of the NYS Standards and the Grade 4 ELA. Students will be exposed to making appropriate graphic organizer selections to meet the needs of the assigned purpose of the writing assignment. Adjustments to this unit can be made for other grade levels by altering the reading selections at the appropriate reading level of the students. As a wide variety of graphic organizers are available, you should implement them to meet the needs of the particular writing assignment and modify them based on the individual needs of the students.
Identifies a graphic organizer
Selects graphic organizer for specific purpose
Understands the purpose of each type of graphic organizer
Completes an appropriate graphic organizer based on the needs of the writing task
Identifies main idea of a story
Selects main topic or theme in a story
Identifies supporting details in a story
Lists examples supporting the main idea
Recognizes the connection between graphic organizer and finished written product
Writes a paragraph linking the information in the graphic organizer to the finished product
How can the use of graphic organizers facilitate writing assignments?
How can the selection of an appropriate graphic organizer outline the writing task for the student?
What is the connection between using a graphic organizer and note taking?
What is the connection between a graphic organizer and the finished written product?
CONNECTIONS TO NYS LEARNING STANDARDS
Learning Standards for English Language Arts Standard 1 - Language for Information and Understanding
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.
Listening and reading to acquire information and understanding involves collecting data, facts, and ideas, discovering relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and using knowledge from oral, written, and electronic sources. Speaking and writing to acquire and transmit information requires asking probing and clarifying questions, interpreting information in one's own words, applying information from one context to another, and presenting the information and interpretation clearly, concisely and comprehensibly.
Standard 2 - Language for Literary Response and Expression
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for literary response and expression.
Listening and reading for literary response involves comprehending, interpreting, and critiquing imaginative texts in every medium, drawing on personal experiences and knowledge to understand the text, and recognizing the social, historical and cultural features of the text.
Speaking and writing for literary response involves presenting interpretations, analyses, and reaction to the content and language of a text. Speaking and writing for literary expression involves producing imaginative texts that use language and text structures that are inventive and often multilayered.
Standard 3-Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
Listening and reading to analyze and evaluate experiences, ideas, information, and issues requires using evaluative criteria from a variety of perspectives and recognizing the difference in evaluations based on different sets of criteria.
Speaking and writing for critical analysis and evaluation requires presenting opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information, and issues clearly, logically, and persuasively with reference to specific criteria on which the opinion or judgment is based.
Standard 4 - Language for Social Interaction
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.
Written communication for social interaction requires using written messages to establish, maintain, and enhance personal relationships with others
Learning Standards In Mathematics/Science/Technology
Standard 2 - Information Systems
Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
Students will use a variety of equipment and software packages to enter, process, display, and communicate information on different forms, using text, tables, pictures, and sound, telecommunicate information from printed media, electronic data bases, and community resources.
Students will describe the uses of information systems in homes, schools, and business, understand that computers are used to store personal information and demonstrate ability to evaluate information.
“Getting It Together”
To familiarize students with the use of graphic organizers as tools to outline important information from a story, the teacher will model the steps which are used to gather oral information, organize, and record pertinent parts and present the information as a written response. The students will observe how using a graphic organizer can break the process of writing into meaningful units.
Students will listen to a Cinderella fairy tale selection read aloud by the teacher with the purpose of responding to the question of comparing Cinderella' s character traits with those of her stepsisters. Suggested story titles are listed in the resources section as well as internet sites for online storytelling collections. Following the listening segment, the teacher will model the transition from listening to writing as a three-step method.
The teacher will first show the students a variety of graphic organizer outlines on the overhead. Examples of graphic organizers will include a Venn diagram, a list, a story map, a story web, a semantic map, a T-chart, and a flow chart. The students will make the appropriate selection of a graphic organizer, and the teacher will reinforce the selection of a compare/contrast graphic organizer to facilitate the writing process. The teacher will then record information on the selected graphic organizer on the overhead projector to establish a visual picture of the comparison of the characters in the story. Then the teacher will create a written response to answer the stated purpose using the information recorded on the graphic organizer while utilizing suggested student input.
“Jot It Down”
Purpose: The students will listen to an orally presented story and utilize their reading comprehension skills to successfully take notes and produce a framework for a written product. The students will discriminate between important and unimportant information and between the main ideas and supporting details.
Materials: Sample Hansel and Gretel story, paper and pencils
Procedure: Teacher will read a selected passage twice. On the first reading, the students will be directed to listen only. On the second reading, the students will be directed to take notes utilizing the following format: Setting, Characters, Beginning, Middle, and Ending. The student may also set up their five basic elements as stated above using the outline of their hand to record each item on one of the fingers of the hand outline. Teacher and students will then discuss the responses made in each category for student self-evaluation.
Closure: Students will utilize the notes for a written product retelling the listening passage with its important components. Students will then review which elements were recorded as important notes in the note taking activity.
Assessment: Students will reread their notes with a partner to see if their notes sufficiently provide a retelling of the story and include information on the setting, characters, beginning, middle, and ending of the story.
“Sorting It Out”
Compare/Contrast Graphic Organizers
Purpose: Students will learn to organize information utilizing a Venn diagram or a T- chart when comparing or contrasting two ideas.
Materials: Poster boards and markers, sample copies of a Venn diagram and T-charts, Inspiration Software
Procedure: The teacher will group the children in teams of three or four students. Each team will be asked to choose two main characters from well known fairy tales that will be compared and contrasted utilizing the Venn diagram or a T-chart. The teams will chart their results on a piece of poster board for later display.
Closure: Each team will share their finished poster of the graphic organizer with an oral presentation to the class.
Assessment: Each team will present their finished poster to the class. The class will utilize individual copies of the poster rubric in the appendix to evaluate their finished products.
“Links In A Chain”
Graphic Organizers for Sequencing
Purpose: Students will use a flow chart or list organizer to sequence information.
Materials: Scrambled Red Riding Hood sentence sheet from appendix, poster board, blank white paper, and markers
Procedure: The teacher will provide each group with a listing of scrambled sentences that represent a story out of sequence. Students will separate the preprinted sentences into individual sentence strips and organize the strips according to where they belong in the correct sequence. They will then organize them into a list or a flow chart configuration on the poster board.
Closure: Students will then read the story events in sequence to a friend. They will draw a picture to illustrate sentence number 5 and share their completed creations with the rest of the class to compare their results.
Assessment: The students will demonstrate their sequence by illustrating an appropriate image for sentence 5. Reading the completed story and sharing the completed picture with a friend will provide peer assessment.
“Mapping It Out”
Graphic Organizers for Story Elements
Purpose: Students will learn to identify and select basic story elements through the use of story maps and story webs.
Materials: Software for Inspiration, copies of many variations of Little Red Riding Hood from the online card catalog in the library, instructional steps for using Inspiration (attached)
Procedure: Students will be divided into teams, with each team selecting a different version of Little Red Riding Hood. After reading the story within their groups, they will identify the main story elements of their version to include setting, characters, problem, beginning, middle, ending, and solution. Each group will complete their own graphic organizer using the suggested samples from the graphic organizer software program Inspiration on the computer. Students will key in the story elements in the correct location on the selected graphic organizer.
Closure: Students will print out and share copies of their finished graphic organizers. Completed copies will be mounted on a poster to be displayed in the classroom.
Assessment: Teacher will evaluate the use of the Inspiration software program with the Rubric for Inspiration Use. Teacher will assess final performance through an informal question/answer session about the completed graphic organizer using the listening/speaking checklist.
“Framing the Picture”
Identifying Details to Support the Main Idea
Purpose: Students will determine the main idea in a random fairy tale or fable of their choosing and demonstrate how supporting details provide a visual image for better understanding of the story.
Materials: Variety of fairy tales and fables (see bibliography or locate in the library using the on line card catalog), teacher made sample, construction paper, crayons, markers, scissors, glue
Procedure: Teacher will demonstrate the desired product by modeling the activity using the story Lon Po Po by Ed Young. Students will select and read a fairy tale or a fable of their own choosing. The student will state the main idea and record it in a sentence on the bottom half of a 9 X 12 sheet of construction paper. They will then illustrate the main idea sentence on the top part of the sheet above the printed sentence. The students will then frame their pictures with four supporting details. Students will cut four strips of paper to create a frame for their picture and write one supporting detail on each side of the frame. They will then glue the four sides around the construction paper to create a frame.
Closure: Students will share completed pictures with the class.
Assessment: Informal conferencing will take place between student and teacher during the activity to reinforce correct identification of the main idea and details of the fairy tale or fable portrayed.
“Retelling the Tale”
Summarizing the Main Idea
Purpose: Students will take the graphic organizer created in “Framing the Picture” as the framework for a written retelling of a fairy tale or a fable. Attention should focus on using the main idea in the introductory sentence and use supporting details in the body of the paragraph.
Materials: Computer for each student and student created picture from previous lesson, teacher created model from previous lesson
Procedure: Teacher will model on the overhead one example of a story showing how the main idea should be incorporated into the opening sentence of a paragraph and how the supporting details will be used to enrich and clarify meaning of the retelling. Students will then use the main idea from their stories to create their opening sentence in a paragraph. They will then use the supporting details from their picture frames in sentences to complete a retelling of the fairy tale or fable. Attention should focus on connecting the supporting details in a concise and readable summary of the story.
Closure: Students should edit and review their summary paragraph to determine if all the details have been included in the retelling.
Assessment: Teacher assessment utilizing the Writing Conference Checklist or the Paragraph Writing Rubric
Using What You Know
Purpose: Students will record their impressions of the main character in two different stories on an appropriate graphic organizer. The culminating activity will be to write a letter to the school librarian indicating which of the two characters they liked the best and providing support for their selection using detailed information from their graphic organizer.
Materials: Model for a friendly letter, paper, pencils
Procedure: Students will read two fairy tales or fables of their own choosing from the bibliography. They will then record the characteristics of each story’s main character in a graphic organizer of their own choosing. Using a compare/contrast graphic organizer as a framework for their information, they will write a letter to the school librarian describing each main character, describe which character they liked the best, and indicate why they made that particular selection.
Closure: Students will invite the librarian to their classroom and read their letters aloud. Students may also dress up as their favorite character to provide more interest to the activity.
Assessment: Letter writing rubric or oral presentation rubric
*Focuses on assigned topic
*Combines ideas and uses a variety of sentences
*Uses many details and descriptions
*Writing goes above and beyond what is assigned
*Art work is neat, appropriate size, with a wide variety of color
*Printing is neat and appropriate size for project
Layout of bubbles meets some of the needs of the task
Chooses main idea and some details of the story
Few grammatical and spelling errors
Framework selection has little connection to task
Layout of bubbles is limited in meeting needs of task
Chooses main idea but no details in the story
Some grammatical and spelling errors
Framework selection has no connection to task
Layout of bubbles does not meet needs of task
Does not choose main idea or details of story
Many grammatical and spelling errors
STEPS TO USE INSPIRATION
Click on Inspiration icon.
Sign on computer.
3. Select ready made Literary Web templates or choose
menu to set up the organizer yourself.
Choose font size, colors, and a graphic from Select
Library if desired.
Double click on a box and enter title of book and author.
For each additional box, click on desired spot for placement and double click to add text. Complete each box until all are completed.
To move boxes, click on the box and hold the left mouse button down and drag the box anywhere desired.
To create a link line to connect two boxes, click on the first box to be linked then go to the tool bar. Go to Link on the tool bar, click on it and hold down on the left side of the mouse. Then bring the arrow to the highlighted box and click the arrow on the border where you want to start your link. Let your finger off the left side of the mouse and draw your arrow to the second box.
When the organizer is done, go to File and Print Preview to view the finished organizer. Make changes as needed.
10. Go to File and Print!
SEQUENCING ACTIVITY SHEET
The following story is scrambled. Cut out each sentence strip and arrange them in the correct sequence using a list or flow chart. Check your work by reading your story to a friend. Then on another sheet of paper draw a picture illustrating sentence number 5 of your story.
Students should have prior instructional direction in writing introductory sentences and organizing paragraphs.
Students should have prior experience using the online card catalog.
Students should have been instructed in the organization of writing a friendly letter.
The teacher could adjust individual lessons as needed depending upon the type of learners in the classroom. Possible modifications may include but would not be limited to the following options:
Assignments can be shortened or tasks can be divided over a few days.
Activities can be completed with a partner.
Support can be provided through the assistance of the Title One Reading teacher, LD teacher, teaching assistant, parent volunteer, or high school mentor.
Modifications for any student with an I.E.P. can be made according to that plan.
UNIT SCHEDULE/TIME PLAN
The unit consists of an initiating activity, six formal instructional sessions with practice time allowed at various intervals and a culminating activity. This unit could be completed in a two to three week time period allowing for individual time for independent work and completion of activities in small groups or with partners.
Technology resources contained in this unit are as follows:
Software titles : Microsoft Works, Microsoft Word,
Computerized card catalog
The main focus of this unit was to generate an understanding of the use of graphic organizers as a helpful tool in the writing process. As the students spent more time involved in these activities, it became evident that the level of understanding became clear and a strong connection was noted in the improved quality of their written products.
The students were able to work with a team of two teachers so that individual attention was always provided and the level of support allowed for a more productive work environment. The ultimate goal of this unit was to get students to distinguish which graphic organizers would be most effective for a specific task. It was interesting to note that completing graphic organizers was more manageable than note taking. We found students were too involved in recording unnecessary details and missed the usefulness of note taking as an aid to recording information.
The value of this unit was evident in a quality product at the end of each assignment as well as a higher level of confidence in making appropriate selections of graphic organizers to suit the needs of the writing project. As students begin to internalize this process it should allow for an extension to their potential as future writers as well as provide tremendous support to their writing frameworks in written response assessments.
Grimm Brothers. Hansel and Gretel. Henry Z. Walck, Inc. 1971.
Grimm Brothers. Little Red Riding Hood. New York: Harcourt Brace & World,
Harcourt, Lalie and Ricki Wortzman. Red Riding Hood's Math Adventure.
Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2001.
Hillert, Margaret. Little Red Riding Hood. Modern Curriculum Press, 1982.
Hansel and Gretel. New York: Playmore, Inc. Publishers.
Lowell, Susan. Little Red Cowboy Hat. New York: Holt, 1997.
Marshall, James. Hansel and Gretel. New York: Dial, 1990.
O’Brien-Palmer, Michelle. Graphic Organizers To Use With Any Book. New
York: Scholastic, 1997.
Vande Velde, Vivian. Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird. Dan
Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1995.
Vozar, David. Yo, Hungry Wolf! a nursery rap. New York: Bantam Doubleday
Dell Books for Young Readers, 1993.
Young, Ed. Lon Po, Po: a Red-Riding Hood Story from China. Philomel Books,
Online Card Catalog
You may find variations of many fairy and folktales through your library and through the online public access catalogs (CIDER, ICEPAC, NORPAC).
http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/mff/ - This site offers a collection of fairy and folk tales as well as suggestions for storytelling.
http://www.childrenstory.com/tales/ - This site provides a selection of traditional tales rewritten by children.