what is a graphic organizer

A graphic organizer, also known as a knowledge map, concept map, story map (or storymap), cognitive organizer, advance organizer, or concept diagram, is a communication tool that uses visual symbols to express knowledge, concepts, thoughts, or ideas, and the relationships between them. The main purpose of a graphic organizer is to provide a visual aid to facilitate learning and instruction

Relational Organizers
fishbone – Ishikawa diagram
cause and effect web

A review study concluded that using graphic organizers improves student performance in the following areas:

Students remember information better and can better recall it when it is represented and learned both visually and verbally.
Reading comprehension
The use of graphic organizers helps improving the reading comprehension of students.
Student achievement
Students with and without learning disabilities improve achievement across content areas and grade levels.
Thinking and learning skills; critical thinking
When students develop and use a graphic organizer their higher order thinking and critical thinking skills are enhanced