Friday, February 26, 2010

DIY Graphic Organizers with PowerPoint

Often times we require a graphic organizer to help our students with a particular task (comprehension, pre-writing, etc), and the perfect one just isn't in our library. Usually, actually. PowerPoint gives us the tools not only to create presentations, but also do some simple (or advanced) page designs to make customized graphic organizers. Just open a new presentation, orient your page (File>Page Setup) and go to work with the drawing toolbar (View>Toolbars>Drawing). The toolbar allows you to add all sorts of lines, boxes/shapes, text, arrows, and colors to create spaces for students to brainstorm or break down ideas. Your graphic organizer can then be printed or shared with the student on the computer. The possibilities are really limitless.

Here is an example of a set of graphic organizers I made with PowerPoint (click on Download). These are based on a presentation on language schema made by Sarah Ward, a Massachusetts-based expert in executive functioning. You should catch her at ASHA or elsewhere if you can- she is an excellent presenter.

Language Lens
  • Graphic organizers provide a visual representation and break down information. Using a graphic organizer can be a goal in itself, or a strategy for comprehension, pre-writing, problem solving or tracking steps.