Compare & Contrast Graphic Organizers For Teachers

Choose a graphic organizer based on the type of information you wish to present.

Teachers in many different disciplines can use graphic organizers to present and organize information in a way students will understand and remember. Even young students can learn to use a graphic organizer to classify thoughts and ideas. Some common uses for graphic organizers include summarizing, sequencing, comparing and contrasting, brainstorming and problem solving. When comparing and contrasting graphic organizers, think about the type and amount of information you have and how you want to represent it.


1. Consider the different types of sequencing organizers. They range from very simple, with just three empty shapes with arrows connecting them, to more complex time lines with multiple boxes for writing more information. Sequencing organizers are helpful to retell stories, to write original stories, to illustrate cycles or to plan a research paper.

2. Summarize main ideas with a variety of different organizers that have a space for the main idea at the top and then some type of branches off of that to include supporting details. These also range in complexity from simple charts to more involved charts offering spaces for topics, details and subtopics.

3. Use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two or three things. A Venn diagram has two or three overlapping circles where characteristics of different things can be listed on each circle and shared characteristics are listed in the middle, overlapping portions.

4. Try a cause/effect map for organizing ideas on cause/effect relationships. Typically, this kind of organizer has a space for the cause at the top, with one or more branches off of that, or it has spaces for multiple causes with one branch to show the effect.

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