Graphic Organizers

What is a graphic organizer?

Graphic organizers are visual thinking tools that make pictures of your thoughts. The pictures demonstrate relationships between facts, concepts, or ideas, and guide your thinking as you design the map or diagram.

People who have learning disabilities are often visual learners and thinkers. That means they understand and remember information better when ideas, words, and concepts are associated with pictures, diagrams, charts, and maps.

Why use graphic organizers?

Graphic organizers can help to visualize and construct ideas, organize and/or sequence information, plan what to write, increase reading comprehension, brainstorm, organize problems and solutions, compare and contrast ideas, show cause and effect, and more. The ability to color-code thoughts in a picture can help significantly in understanding and remembering the information.

Graphic organizers can be created for something as simple as a shopping list or as complicated as structuring business components or writing a thesis.

Multiple Intelligences

Different types of graphic organizers

There are many different types of graphic organizers. Some are made based on the specific goal, like showing overlapping relationships or visualizing a process. There are literally thousands of free templates available online – just search for “free graphic organizers.” The following are samples of only a few types of graphic organizers.

Venn Diagrams

Venn Diagrams show how different things or ideas can overlap to show a compare/contrast relationship.

Venn Diagrams

Concept Maps

Concept Maps are good for organizing information, brainstorming, visualizing ideas, and planning what you want to write.

Concept Mps

Mind Maps

Mind Maps are used to visually represent hierarchical information that includes a central idea surrounded by connected branches of associated topics. They work well for brainstorming ideas, solving problems, and showing relationships and/or components in a process.

Mind Maps

Flow Charts

Flow charts are graphic organizers that show how steps in a process fit together. This makes them useful tools for communicating how processes work and for clearly documenting how a particular job is done. Mapping a process in a flow chart format can help clarify the process, and show where the process can be improved.

Flow Charts

Resources for Graphic Organizers

To learn more about graphic organizers

Free graphic organizer websites (not a complete list)

Free graphic organizer apps (not a complete list)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Feel free to leave a comment below regarding this article. If you have a specific question for LDA, please contact us directly.


  1. Our software “Creately” is an online diagramming and collaboration software which supports all graphic organizer charts. We, at Creately studied the importance of these graphic organizers, and designed a number of easy to use graphic organizer templates . They are free to be used and try

  2. Betty Garcia says

    when i was a child at a spelling bee i use to spell out the word by using my pointer finger in the air. I use to get distracted a lot and couldn’t focus. and i processed information very slowly. the instructor had to repeat and repeat her instructions to me over and over. I never knew what was wrong my parents told me i was just lazy and if i would apply myself more. I use to be a C average student I made it to the 9th grade in high school at the Atlai Stevenson High School but i dropped out a month later. Because i felt Stupid and was afraid i was going to fail in front of the whole class and i would be bullied because of it. This school was in Bronx New York. I want to study for the Hiset online school but I i dont really know how to start and i procrastinate. i must have a learning disorder im even seeing a physiologist where can i go to ask for a learning disability test can i ask my therapist for this? this way i can go to an adult school and get help with my Hiset equivalency exam class. .

    • LDA of America says

      Your psychologist should be able to do a complete LD evaluation. See information about the assessment process at Once you have completed the evaluation, take your documentation to your local adult education program and tell them you want to enroll in their program, but need to request classroom and testing accommodations. They will submit your documentation to Hi-SET to start the request for accommodations process. You can find out more about high school equivalency exams (like Hi-SET) at All of these exams have an established process for requesting and receiving accommodation on the test for students who have current disability documentation. The documentation must have been completed within the last five years, and it must show support for each requested accommodation. The student with a currently diagnosed learning disability can also request instructional accommodations as they work towards their high school equivalency diploma. Typical requested accommodations include extra time, a private room for testing, a reader for the test, access to a calculator for the entire math portion of the test, and/or a scribe to enter their answers on the computer. Other accommodations may be accepted as well; again, it depends on the specific learning disability of the individual and what their evaluation supports regarding needed accommodations. Contact your local adult education program to get state- and program-specific information about the process for enrolling students with disabilities. There is information about Hi-SET accommodations at

    • Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience. I have a similar situation that I’m dealing with. I process information slowly and have a hard time remembering facts and details. It’s very frustrating. I always thought I was just not smart enough. But realizing that I have a learning problem and that other people are going though similar situations gives me the thrive to find help and the hope of finishing school. Don’t loose hope. The way you express yourself is of a very smart person. I hope you find the help you need to get back on track with your goals and aspirations. ~Laura


  1. […] Time Management 6 Ways to Teach Time Management Skills Moderate Executive Functioning Strategies Graphic Organizers from the Learning Disabilities Foundation of America Helping Kids Who Struggle with Executive Functioning 10 Frightfully Useful Tips from Executive […]

  2. […] Graphic organisers are low tech and high tech items which help students to learn visually.  They allow students with writing difficulties to plan and organise their ideas before they start writing.  Teachers use them for all different subjects.  Mind mapping is an example of a graphic organiser.  Students use mind maps to generate ideas or create outlines for stories. An example of a low tech mind map is in the centre of the photo below. […]

Leave a Reply to Betty Garcia Cancel reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.