Areas of Expertise


Adolescent Literacy

Reading Strategies

Strategy: Graphic Organizers

Barron, R. F. (1969). The use of vocabulary as an advanced organizer. In H. L. Herber & P. L. Sanders (Eds.), Research in reading in the content areas: First year report. Syracuse, NY: syracuse Universtiy

Cunningham, P.M., & Allington, R. (2002). Classrooms that work: They can all read and write (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Tierney, R. J., Readance, J. E., & Dishner, E. K. (1995). Reading strategies and practices. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Web site:


There are many different types of Graphic Organizers that can be used as preteaching or postteaching strategies. The purpose for using this approach is to introduce or reinforce key concepts in a text. Using Graphic Organizers enables students to visually discern how a text is structured.


  1. The teacher selects words from the text that reflect the concepts to be learned.
  2. The words are then arranged into a diagram form that helps student sees visually the correlation between the terms. These diagrams can take on many forms.


Various types of Graphic Organizers are provided on NCREL's Pathways to School Improvement Web site.


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