Fiction, Nonfiction

Visualize Ideas with Graphic Organizer Templates

What is a graphic organizer template?

A graphic organizer templates is a template that is organizes ideas from what was read or learned. Graphic organizer templates include the following:

  • Concept Map / Character Map
  • Plot Map (characters and setting, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution)
  • Four Square Organizer (vocabulary, main idea/details, character analysis)
  • Two Column Notes (quote/meaning, main idea/details, character’s actions/traits/feelings

How can I use each template?

A concept map is when students take notes on a particular topic. For example, if the students are reading about frogs- they write ‘frogs’ in the middle of their maps. Important details about frogs are written in the other parts of the map. When students are reading fictional text, a character map would work the same way. The character’s name would be written in the middle of the map. Notes about the character are then written in the other areas. A plot map is used with fictional text. It helps the students take notes on the characters, setting, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of the story.

A four square organizer can be used for different purposes. Teachers can use it when teaching about vocabulary. Students can write the meaning, use the word in a sentence, display a picture, and write an antonym of the word. A four square template can also be used to write the main idea, details, and summary. This can work for any subject area. Another great way to use a four square organizer template is to analyze a character in a fictional story. Students can write about the character’s actions, thoughts, and feelings.

Two column notes can be used to interpret quotes. One column has the quote and the other column has the meaning. Two column notes can also be used for main idea and details. The first column can be for the main idea and the second column can be for the details. Students use text features such as headings to support the main idea. After completing the main idea/detail notes, students can then write a short summary.

Writing Extensions

Students can use their graphic organizer templates to help write about what they have learned. For example, students could write a paragraph about a character using their character analysis notes. Their notes would help them provide text evidence in their writing. Students could write a summary of an article using their main idea/detail notes. Another example is using a plot diagram to summarize a fictional story. The graphic organizer templates help scaffold and guide students in their writing.

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