Graphic organizers, such as brainstorming, helps structure problem-solving.
Graphic organizers are teaching tools that use a visual means to organize ideas, concepts or remember key concepts. Common examples of graphic organizers include mind-mapping, idea clouds, flow charts and timelines. Students from elementary school through college use graphic organizers to brainstorm for essays and assignments, and businesses frequently use graphic organizers for planning creative projects.
Connections Between Ideas
Although graphic organizers do a great job of helping an author, for example, develop individual ideas, they do little to indicate how those ideas fit together in an actual written work. Once a graphic organizer has been used, the author must still figure out create useful transitions between ideas and indicate what ideas go together and in what manner.
The Importance of Ideas
Although you can get a plethora of ideas using a graphic organizer, it’s important to be able to narrow down the ideas that will fit into the final project. Sometimes a project needs to be succinct and direct, and a graphic organizer can overwhelm the project creator with more ideas than she can use.
Using Graphic Organizers Wisely
Although graphic organizers can’t write an essay or complete a project for you, they can be an excellent tool. Make sure that once you have used the graphic organizer, you go on to work with the language and flow of the actual project. Reading your essay or project aloud and focusing on transitional words and phrases can help you to address the problems that graphic organizers cannot cover.
When you use a graphic organizer, make sure that you choose a format that best fits your particular project and goals. There are many models of graphic organizers, so try to think beyond the usual bubbling or webbing methods that are often used in schools and colleges. Graphic.org, the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory website, is a good source of free graphic organizers.