Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Teacher's BIG BOOK of Graphic Organizers

The Teacher's Big Book of Graphic Organizers: 100 Reproducible Organizers that Help Kids with Reading, Writing, and the Content Areas by Katherine S. McKnight is exactly what the title describes, 100 visual scaffolds to reading, writing, and the content areas, (English, math, social studies, science, health).

Katherine S. McKnight has compiled an incredible collection of graphic organizers for students. The grade range listed on the book cover is 5-12; I know that my children have used some of these in lower grades.

As a homeschooling parent of a child on the autism spectrum, I am excited as I flip through the pages of this book and see the possibilities. McKnight has turned so many "invisible" concepts in to CONCRETE VISUALS for *any* learner, and in my opinion, students of a broader age/grade range that the author recommends.

Some of the pages are familiar to us. The Venn Diagram, for example. Many are new to me, and are quite creative. Check out the table of contents.

I really like the way a concept is broken down into parts and visually arranged on a page, adding a rich element, something tangible, that is missed with a verbal description, alone.

Each of the 100 graphic organizers is presented over two pages, with one page offering a grade range (which is 4-12; 5-12; or 6-12 in the book, but I can see many uses for my child who is working at lower grade levels); a meter that lets the user know whether each organizer is easy, medium, or hard; a list of subject areas to use with each organizer; a list of what skills and functions the students will practice and develop with each organizer; and finally, a copy of a completed page with examples of "tips for classrooom implementation". Peek at a sample chapter.

For all students, but especially for a student in the autism spectrum, there are quite a few pages that visually scaffold steps to inferencing, to perspective taking, to visualization, to predicting, to using prior knowledge.

For a visually-impaired student or a student with fine-motor challenges (which make staying within the lines difficult), I would consider raising the lines on the pages by adding a "bead" of liquid white glue and allowing it to dry prior to using a page with that student.

The book is designed to lie flat for easy photocopying. Purchasers of the book receive a web site and password to access the graphic organizers in pdf form online.

This is a book that every homeschool parent, every school-building school teacher, every special ed teacher would be able to use. I imagine even church staff would appreciate this book for Bible studies with students of all ages.

The Teacher's BIG BOOK of Graphic Organizers by Katherine S. McKnight
ISBN: 978-0-470-50242-6
224 pages
June 2010, Jossey-Bass
US $22.95

Jossey-Bass Teacher, an Imprint of Wiley, sent me The Teacher's BIG BOOK of Graphic Organizers, at no charge, to review. I receive no other compensation for review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I'll bet this would be a great resource for teaching my sons with AS. I'll put it on my list of things to look into. thanks!

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