A graphic organizer, also known as knowledge map, concept map, story map, cognitive organizer, advance organizer, or concept diagram, is a communication tool that uses visual symbols to express knowledge, concepts, thoughts, or ideas, and the relationships between them. The main purpose of a graphic organizer is to provide a visual aid to facilitate learning and instruction.
Graphic organizers take many forms:
- Relational Organizers
- #Category/Classification Organizers
- Sequence Organizers
- Compare Contrast Organizers
- Concept Development Organizers
- story web
- word web
- circle chart
- flow chart
- Options and Control Device Organizers
Enhancing students' skills
A review study concluded that using graphic organizers improves student performance in the following areas:
- Students remember information better and can better recall it when it is represented and learned both visually and verbally.
- Reading comprehension
- The use of graphic organizers helps improving the reading comprehension of students.
- Student achievement
- Students with and without learning disabilities improve achievement across content areas and grade levels.
- Thinking and learning skills; critical thinking
- When students develop and use a graphic organizer their higher order thinking and critical thinking skills are enhanced.
- "Instructional Strategies Online - Graphic Organizers". Olc.spsd.sk.ca. 1999-01-01. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- Graphic Organizers: A Review of Scientifically Based Research, The Institute for the Advancement of Research in Education at AEL 
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