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The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)

The Council for Exceptional Children

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ERIC EC Minibib EB21

April 1998

Compiled by Sandra Berger

Citations with an ED (ERIC Document; for example, ED123456) number are available in microfiche collections at more than 1,000 locations

worldwide; to find the ERIC Resource Collection nearest you, point your web browser to: Documents can also be ordered

for a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS):,, or 1-800-443-ERIC.

Journal articles are available for a fee from the originating journal (check your local college or public library), through interlibrary loan services, or

from article reproduction services: Carl Uncover:,, 1-800-787-7979; or ISI:,



A graphic organizer is a visual representation of concepts, knowledge, or information that can incorporate both text and pictures. Examples include calendars, maps, Venn

diagrams, and flow charts. Graphic organizers allow the mind 'to see' undiscovered patterns and relationships.

Adger, C. T and others (1995). Engaging students: Thinking, talking, cooperating. Corwin Press, Inc., 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks,

CA 91320-2218. 192p.

The "silent" classrooms of yesterday are no longer appropriate for today's educational needs. Students require a learning experience rich in oral

language, and schools are being asked to educate them for work that requires analytic competence and collaborative interactive skills. A revised

curriculum and new teaching strategies are crucial to meeting this challenge. In this book, four teachers provide classroom-tested, research-based

instructional approaches that engage students in learning through thought and talk. They show ways to improve significantly students abilities to

solve problems and to think critically and creatively by using "Think Trix," a structure of thinking types to signal the sort of thinking that is

appropriate to a learning task. The system helps students develop both their analytic capabilities and their academic language skills. The publication

explains what academic talk is and why it is important, outlines and advises on how to use the Think Trix approach, explores logistical matters

connected to Think Trix as well as modifying the approach for various instructional environments, and for using Think Trix in cooperative learning

situations and across the curriculum. Each chapter ends with discussion questions to lead classes or individuals in exploring implications for their

own practice. Three appendices present: some illustrative activities that combine Think Trix, graphic organizers, and cooperative learning; the Think

Trix symbols and several graphic organizers; and an annotated bibliography.

Armstrong, J. O. (1993). Learning to make idea maps with elementary science text. Technical Report No. 572. Center for the Study of

Reading, Urbana, IL. 58 p. ED355491.

One way that teachers can help students learn from their textbooks is through the use of verbal-spatial representations of text structure. This report

offers teachers and teacher educators information about learning to make idea maps for instructional use with elementary science texts. Idea maps,

which are verbal-spatial representations of ideas and the relationships connecting them, can resemble flow charts, diagrams, or tables. The information

in this report is based on selected results from a study of eight preservice elementary teachers who received several hours of individual instruction in

idea mapping and then independently read and mapped two passages of elementary science text. The report presents the instructional materials,

describes the instructional sessions, and considers selected data from the independent work sessions as indications of the preservice teachers' learning

from the instructional sessions. The results show that all but one student followed the instructional guideline to make "global maps," which were

limited to key text ideas. On the other hand, four of the eight students required major levels of assistance to complete at least one of their idea maps.

The results of think-aloud protocols also showed that the preservice teachers used a wide variety of strategies to begin their idea maps. Implications

are discussed for the use of the instructional materials by teachers and educators. Six tables of data are included, and an appendix--which comprises

about half the document--presents the instructional materials used to introduce the student to idea maps.

Barclay, K. D. (1990). Constructing meaning: An integrated approach to teaching reading. Intervention in School and Clinic, 26 (2), 84-91.

This article describes seven methods to help special needs learners improve reading comprehension: the Pre Reading Plan; the six-step survey

technique; semantic mapping; story maps; mental imagery; learning logs; and use of question-answer relationships.

Barron, D. D.(1990). Graphic organizers and the school library media specialist. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 7 (1), 46-50.

This literature review on graphic organizers includes discussion of background readings, the research base, applications, books, journal articles, and

ERIC documents. Resources on creating and managing the literate classroom and on language arts activities are also described.

Bellanca, J. (1992). The cooperative think tank II: Graphic organizers to teach thinking in the cooperative classroom. K-Adult. Skylight

Publishing, Inc., 200 East Wood Street, Suite 274, Palatine, IL 60067. 149p.

This book contains 12 graphic organizers to use with a technique called the "triple-agenda lesson," a single lesson or unit that integrates the graphic

organizers as a tool for promoting thoughtful study of course content in a cooperative learning structure. The goal of this technique is to empower

each learner to become self-directed regarding what and how to learn. Each chapter of the book covers one graphic organizer and includes

instructions on how to use it in the classroom; a sidebar highlighting the purpose, vocabulary, and thinking skills employed; suggestions for testing;

optional activities; topics for elementary, middle school, and secondary levels; and examples. The graphic organizers included are: (1) "The Prediction

Tree"; (2) "The KWL"; (3) "The PMI"; (4) "The Information Chart"; (5) "Fat and Skinny Questions"; (6) "The T-Chart"; (7) "The Gathering Grid";

(8) "The Question Matrix"; (9) "The Scale"; (10) "The Frame"; (11) "The Problem-Solving Chart"; and (12) "The Decision Maker's Flow Chart."

An invent-your-own model is also included, along with chapters on integrating organizers across the curriculum and evaluating student work. Copies

of the organizers are included.

Bos, C. S., Anders, P. L. (1992). Using interactive teaching and learning strategies to promote text comprehension and content learning for

students with learning disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 39 (3), 225-38.

The Interactive Teaching Project was designed to test an instructional model to help students with learning disabilities comprehend content area

concepts. This paper describes the theoretical model and the effective interactive teaching and learning strategies used, including semantic feature

analysis, semantic mapping, and semantic/syntactic feature analysis.