Digital Graphic Organizer

According to Matt Miller in Ditch That Textbook, once you’ve created or saved a graphic organizer there are a few easy ways in which your students can access them:

  • If you use Google Classroom, create a new assignment and choose the option to deliver a copy of your graphic organizer to each student.
  • You can copy the URL (link) to the graphic organizer and deliver it to students via a class website or Learning Management System (LMS). You can also make a shorter, easier URL to type with URL shorteners like Bitly and TinyURL. (Check your Internet filter to make sure your shortened URLs come through. I’ve found that TinyURL works in most schools’ filters.)
  • Using the blue “Share” button, click the “Advanced” button and set the document as “Anyone with the link” at the top and “Can view” at the bottom. That way, students won’t be able to change your original copy and will have to make a copy of their own.
  • PRO TIP: When you copy a URL (link) to any Google Apps file, it probably says “view” or “edit” at the end of it. If you change that word to “copy”, it will force whoever opens that link to make a copy of the file instead of opening your file. That’s another trick to keeping your original version from being altered.


Here are 15 graphic organizers that can be used for many different subject areas and grade levels. Make a copy of any of them and adapt them for your own use:

Venn diagramVenn diagram: Lets students write similarities and differences on a topic.


KWL chartKWL: Lets students list: what I know, what I want to know, what I have learned.


TimelineTimeline: Lets students plot dates and events over a specified time period.


Evaluation chartEvaluation: Lets students identify criteria, explain whether it was successful and why, and provide evidence.

Cause and effect chainCause and effect chain: Lets students identify actions that caused other actions and their effects.

Fishbone plannerFishbone planner: Lets students list advantages and disadvantages of a topic.


Word web-semantic mapWord web / semantic map: Lets students branch ideas out from a main topic into subtopics.

Flow chartFlow chart: Lets students display the linear relationship among several things.


Hexagonal thinkingHexagonal thinking: Lets students connect ideas with multiple contact points. I first learned about hexagonal thinking at Google Teacher Academy in Austin, Texas, in December 2014.

Character mapCharacter map: Lets students list important information about a character, like what the character says and what the student thinks of the character.

Cornell note-takingCornell note-taking: Lets students list main points and evidence, details and location.

Plot diagramPlot diagram: Lets students show how a plot builds, climaxes and resolves.


Vocabulary clusterVocabulary cluster: Lets students identify synonyms, antonyms and related words to a specific word.

Vocabulary concept mapVocabulary concept map: Lets students make connections to other words from a specific vocabulary term.

Think about your thinkingThink about your thinking: Helps students think through their decisions and how they arrived at their conclusions.