Intel Designing Effective Projects : Projects to Engage Learners

Prior Knowledge | Co-operative Learning | Feedback | Recognition | Questioning | Modelling | Managing ICT

Project Design

Graphic Organizers

Project Design

Project Plan Index

Teaching and Learning Strategies


Example Graphic Organizers

Concept Maps
Sequencing Activities
Classification Charts
Prioritized List



Learn About Graphic Organizers
Graphic organizers help learners to think about, visualize, and arrange their knowledge. In a conventional classroom setting, most teachers rely on talking, reading, and writing for representing and communicating concepts. Studies show that when learners create nonlinguistic representations of their knowledge there is increased activity in the brain (Gerlic & Jausovec, 1999). Whether creating a concept map, a flow chart, or a simple storyboard, learners must draw upon analysis skills to clarify relationships, organize their thoughts, and formulate plans or process steps. The process of creating the representations helps learners retain information and extends learners’ ability to convey and exchange their thinking in collaborative group work.

Bring New Strategies to Your Classroom
Using graphic organizers is a universal strategy that is equally appropriate across all grades and subject / learning areas. It can be introduced at the beginning of a project and referred to throughout, and used as a means of assessment. There are many uses for graphic organizers. 
  • A high school English teacher uses a chain-of-events graphic organizer while learners are reading a novel. This organizer helps them to document events as they read, reflect upon prior reading, make predictions, and prepare for discussions. The completed work is used as an assessment.
  • An intermediate phase teacher has learners create a T-chart to compare and contrast the differences and similarities of two mammals. This T-chart is then used to help learners with a multimedia presentation.
  • A senior phase geography teacher has learners build a causal map to show the causes and effects of tectonic plate movement in a study of earthquakes. Discussions of each other’s maps leads learners to deeper analysis of their findings.
Examples Across the Curriculum
Many types of graphic organizers can be used across grades and subject / learning areas.
Concept Maps >
Concept maps help learners cluster and brainstorm ideas and information. A causal map is a specific kind of concept map that shows cause-and-effect relationships.

Sequencing Activities >
These activities help learners to sequence information and organize their thoughts in a logical way. These include chain of events, timelines, and storyboard planners.
Classification Charts >
T-charts and Venn diagrams are charts that help learners organize information visually for comparing, contrasting, or finding similarities and differences.

Prioritized Lists >
These lists help learners analyze and prioritize information while evaluating criteria for their decisions.