Graphic Organizers for Comm Boards
In a previous post we talked about the ways and the why behind using communication boards with students who have significant disabilities. I was in a classroom today and the teacher asked me about how to take it further. She wanted to know what things to do for upper level thinking that still lets her use the communication boards that come with the story. So here we are- great blank graphic organizers for comm boards!
Great GOs and Where to Get Them
Some of the best graphic organizers to use with reading are used in general ed all the time, but they are also great graphic organizers for comm boards in LIFE Skills.
* Venn Diagrams
You can cut the comm board into pieces and use a venn diagram to compare and contrast. Maybe you want to compare places, people, or chapters. Either way, it is a great way to think about the ways things are the same and the ways they are different. A free one is printable from Calloway House.
* Cause and Effect
Everyone needs to learn about cause and effect. When one thing happens, there are consequences! So, why not use a graphic organizer to practice that skill no matter what story you come across. There is a great one that is formatted as a flip book on Book Units Teacher.
* 5 Wh’s
We always have the Wh’s on a communication board, so why not let students find them?!? With this, students will find the who, what, where, when and why within a story. Again, students can cut up the communication board so they can manipulate the words instead of just filling it out by writing. Calloway House is a great source of printable graphic organizers, including this 5 Wh’s GO.
* Web GO
A web graphic organizer is a great fall back one to keep handy. You can web a specific character, things that happened in a story, or even words relating to a specific event in a book or chapter. A blank one that I have used before is from Education and Behavior.
This summarizing graphic organizers may or may not work with certain communication boards, but I have been mostly successful with it. There are usually enough icons to complete all the sections in some way, and I like the idea of getting a snapshot of the chapter we just read. This one from We Are Teachers has worked for me.
Step It Up
No matter what graphic organizer you use, the point is to take a student’s understanding of a story up to the next level and go beyond vocabulary instruction. Using the communication boards that come with a lot of the materials in LIFE Skills will keep you from having to invest more time in making materials… so print these once and laminate them so you can use them over and over! Remember to work smarter, not harder.