Literature Review of Graphic Organizers

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Literature Review

Numerous studies confirm the benefits of using graphic organizers in the classroom in terms of helping students develop and process information. The mere fact this is a method that has been backed by such a strong body of evidence has imbued me with confidence that this intervention will yield positive results. Graphic organizers are a way to help students "grapple with core ideas of the content and develop sophisticated relational understandings of it" (Ellis 2004). They help students to process information as opposed to memorizing and stressing facts (Ellis 2004), which is what history, is predominantly concerned with. Too often when we teach children in our particular content areas we take a Scholar Academic approach and essentially leave the children to sort themselves out and create their own knowledge as the all knowing teacher shares his wisdom with his impressionable and precocious students. Graphic organizers are a way to differentiate this instruction, while appealing to a wide variety of learning styles.

Graphic organizers are structures or templates that help students to understand the relationships between concepts and vocabulary. They are a quick and effortless way to deliver effective instruction if used appropriately and responsibly in the classroom. "The learner does not have to process as much semantic information to understand the information. This is one reason why graphic organizers are such powerful devices for students with language based learning disabilities" (Ellis 2004). The research question seeks to reaffirm the claims that Ellis and others assert because of the overwhelming belief in graphic organizers expressed by educators in various academic settings.

Graphic organizers are clear and concrete examples of the information that students are expected to be able to grasp and process within the context of class and homework. For ELL students, who often have difficulty grasping the nuances of English...
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