How great would it be for students to have ONE tool to use across ALL content areas? Think about the time it would save!
AND… How great would it be if your students could DIY the graphic organizer whenever it is needed - by the student or the teacher?!
I took a course a number of years back on teaching English Language Learners Mathematics. The course provided me with tons of strategies, and the best part was that they were applicable for ALL learners.
There was one strategy that stood out above the others; I have used it across the curriculum for ALL learners in ALL classrooms.
The Frayer Model is a graphic organizer typically used for building student vocabulary. It requires students to define target vocabulary and apply learned knowledge through examples and non-examples, characteristics, and/or a visual image of the word’s meaning.
A typical Frayer Model looks like this…
Frayer Models tap into students’ prior knowledge, enabling meaningful connections to be created. Students can link prior knowledge to new knowledge, and they can determine how one concept relates to another concept.
Student success is measured by the vocabulary of information that one holds regarding a topic (Marzano & Pickering, 2005). Thus, vocabulary is important. Vocabulary is the foundation for comprehension. And for students to succeed, they need to comprehend subject matter.
So if the Frayer Model helps students comprehend vocabulary, why can’t it help them comprehend content?
The Frayer Model can make content comprehensible!
Appear to be amazed… I will now magically turn the Frayer Model, typically utilized for vocabulary, into a tool for use across the curriculum!
Here is one way to use the Frayer Model in Reading!
The Frayer Model also promotes critical thinking in students for vocabulary and content. Critical thinking is the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment about a topic.
The Frayer Model helps students organize facts around a topic, formulate an idea connected to the facts and analyze the topic.
Use of the Frayer Model improves retention of information.
The model acts as a visual reference. The organizers can be posted as anchor charts or word walls in the classroom or kept in student notebooks for reference. Students can use them as a study skill tool. Additionally, some students may use them during tests as an accommodation.
Graphic organizers are important learning tools for our students. They help them make connections, organize thoughts, and access the general curriculum independently. And if independence is the ultimate goal for our students, let’s get them DIYing their own graphic organizers! (Plus, papers tight! How many of you have experienced the one ream of paper per month rule yet?)
Students can draw their own Frayer Model OR they can fold their own…
Make these whole class, individually, or in small groups. If the class makes a Frayer Model, it is acceptable to allow only some students to use them as reference on a test if the students’ IEPs require such supports.
~By Miss Rae
Marzano, R. J., & Pickering, D. J. (2005). Building academic vocabulary: Teacher’s manual. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.