Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Great Graphic Organizers

On Monday of this week I stumbled across a great website with lots of free printable graphic organizers.  I am finding that I like using these a lot with my oldest son as we work on reading comprehension.  When I found this website, I was doing a Google search to find a printable story map with the major literary elements. In addition to finding the story map I wanted, I found a wealth of other resources.  I'll share a few of my favorites now, but I encourage you to visit the site to see what other goodies you can use.  HERE IS THE LINK to the website itself.

Here are a few of the things I printed immediately.  My excitement over this find greatly increase my son's writing workload on Monday, but (bless his heart!) he didn't complain a bit!!

Since the boys and I had gone to the play "Ferdinand the Bull" last week at a local children's theater, I had him fill out this "Play Response" form.  I was planning to have him write about it anyway, but having this great form to write on was better than the blank notebook paper I was planning to have him use.  (NOTE:  All the forms shown here were completed by my fourth grader, not my first grader!)

I thought he did a great job on this.  He really took it seriously and I love the illustration he added in lieu of an actual photo from the play. 

The play was VERY different from the book and I'm sure I could find a great compare/contrast organizer on the website, but for now I'm really happy with how well he summarized the main details of the play.  I also liked that there is a place to circle his "rating" of the play at the bottom.  We are going on a field trip this Friday and I've already downloaded and printed a Field Trip Response form for him to complete next Monday.

I also found this Reading Log form that I like a whole lot.  As you may remember, in addition to reading a piece of literature together (where we work on vocabulary, comprehension, literary elements, etc.), I'm having my fourth grader read an additional book (his choice) for 30 minutes each day just for fun.  I'm not quizzing him on it or having him write about it or anything like that.  The focus is just on reading for readings' sake.  I'm so proud of him for reading three lengthy chapter books so far this year (and he's almost done with the fourth!).  I have been having him just keep a log of the titles of the books, which I'll continue to do so we can keep track of what he's read.  However, after finding this form, I've decided that from this point on I'll have him complete the form when he finishes each "just for fun" book.  It's a quick form to complete and it allows him to categorize the book by genre, rate it, and write a brief summary.  Below is his form for Because of Winn-Dixie, which he just finished last week.

The next photos show some bookmark printables that I found and loved!  I haven't used these yet, but they are just what I needed although I didn't realize it until I saw them!  When we were still doing A World of Adventure, my son and I had talked about the different types of conflict in literature.  Even though we've put AWOA aside for now, I still wanted to continue to help him analyze conflict in future texts that we read.  So.....I'm loving these bookmarks.  I made several copies of the page you see below.  My plan is to cut them out and have them available so he can easily grab them to mark places in the story where he has identified a particular type of conflict.  When finished with a book, the bookmarks used can be stapled together in a group as documentation of our learning and thinking about that particular book.

In our AWOA curriculum, we also talked about the development of plot.  Needless to say, I was thrilled to find a set of "plot" bookmarks.  Again, I've printed up a bunch of these and I'll let him use these to mark where he finds the various stages of plot development in a story.  I'm sure that initially he'll need a lot of assistance from me in how to use these tools, but I am hoping that over time he'll be able to use them himself. 

These examples are only a few of the treasure trove of resources available at Cheryl Sigmon's website.  Be sure to visit and check it out!!

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