Read Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers allow individuals to create a visual representation of complex information. There are an assortment of different graphic organizer types that are customized for specialized collections of information. Each of these types differ, but they also share some commonalities. To effectively read a graphic organizer, it is necessary to consider the basic principles of graphic organizers and look at the basic tools used to show relationship in these visual information organization tools.


1. Start in the center or at the top. The starting point for information flow in a graphic organizer varies slightly depending on the type. If the graphic organizer looks like a web, with information spreading out in all directions, start in the center. If it looks more like a map or a list, start at the top of the organizer and move down.

2. Look for arrows. Arrows are used in nearly every graphic organizer type. These simple features show you navigate through the information contained in the organizer. These arrows clearly indicate the direction or directions in which the information is flowing.

3. Determine the organizational structure. To effectively pull information from the graphic organizer, you need to determine how it is organized. Generally this information is either ordered in a chronological fashion or the information moves gradually from broad to specific. Look at the information provided, and decide which order type the graphic organizer you are dealing with is employing.

4. Consider relationship. Graphic organizers create relationships between elements. When reading the graphic organizer, consider the relationships that the organizer is demonstrating.

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