Category Archives: Graphic Organizers

Sentence paterns make writing English a breeze.

Below are two free down loadable worksheets I put together for my first grade class.  They are a mix of the three sentence patterns we have been working on this unit.

  • _______ can ________ , but he/she can’t __________.
  • Do you like _________________?
  • Can you play________________?

Sentence Pattern Combo #1

Sentence Pattern Combo #2

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Classroom surveys are a great way to get your students speaking "authentic" English.

Amazingly enough, for the first time this year my first, second and third graders are all working on the same theme at the same time.

The worksheets I created are available for download. Just right click your mouse and click “save as.”

Fruit and Vegetable Class Survey – use this Word document to get the students speaking and writing English. Class surveys are always a hit. Just be sure to monitor them closely, to make sure everyone is using English. Typically, I have them write the sentences and that usually generates spontaneous conversations about spelling and grammar.

What Do You Want To Eat? – use this Word document to get students used to using new food vocabulary. You decide on which vocabulary words you want your students to focus on – the worksheet is divided up into categories. The students ask their classmates a simple question and they fill in the blank. I deliberately doubled it up so you can cut the paper in half and then have the students use their own notebook paper to write the sentences.

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Prediction is a skill that every student needs to master.

Prediction is a skill that is on most standardized tests.

You can download a copy of the prediction worksheet that I whipped up for my class, below. I saved it as a Word document, so you can add additional columns/rows. It is best to use with picture books that are light on text. You can adapt it to go with any book you choose.

Prediction Worksheet

Below you will find links to other resources that contain lesson plans and worksheets all geared to mastering the fine art of making predictions.

Have Fun Teaching – links to a website that has some worksheets.

The Teacher’s Corner links to a page with a lesson plan that reinforces prediction skills.

Reading Rockets – links to a website that lesson plans and anticipation guide templates.

Making predictions about pictures – links to a pdf file.

First Lines- explains when and how to use this strategy.

The Reading Lady – links to a page with a list of PDF worksheets and Word documents you can download for classroom use.



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Do your students have effective study skills?

My colleagues and I are giving a study skills workshop for the upper school students this Friday. Below is a sampling of the PowerPoints we will be using.

American Style Learning Strategies -This PowerPoint covers the proper use of highlighting, how to use two column notes and concept mapping.

Study Skills PPT by Lynn Husen – This presentation covers all the basics.

Time Mangement Skills – A visually appealing presentation that offers practical time management suggestions.

Best Test Taking Advice Ever – I used this PowerPoint when I was  prepping the kids for the FCAT.


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Family Members + Rooms in a House

Several times a week I find myself creating custom graphic organizers for my class. This is partly because I have to stretch out the curriculum and partly because I want to reinforce a concept or grammatical point.

I usually take my cue from the text book and focus on a specific skill.

I don’t consider myself especially tech savvy, but I do know my way around Word 2007. That is what I use to create the custom graphic organizers. I use the insert option a lot and try to liven it up a bit by using shapes with text inserted in the shape.

The graphic organizer below reinforces family members and rooms in a house. I used these family flash cards and these rooms in a house flash cards to reinforce the lesson from the text book. First, I had them practice their English conversation skills by having the students pick a family card. Then they had to ask their partner, “Where is your _____ ?” and the partner would pick up a room card and say “(He’s/She’s/They’re) in the _____ .”

The following graphic organizers were created for my second grade class in order to reinforce this skill.

G2 Where’s your…

G2 family.rooms

The following two graphic organizers are meant to go together. The students must match and paste the family relationship vocabulary to the correct definitions.  Detailed instructions can be found on p2.

family relationships p1

family relationships p2

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Here are some graphic organizers I made for my first grade class. They are designed to go with The Story Box first grade curriculum which is published by the Wright Group/McGraw-Hill, copyright 2001.

If you don’t have access to these books,you can still use these graphic organizers to teach sentence patterns to the students. Just throw the sentence patterns up on the board and then plug in all the different choices that they can put into the blanks. This exercise is great for teaching adjectives, verbs, nouns and grammar.

I like to brainstorm the vocabulary with the class before I choose about five to focus on. This helps the exercise be more authentic and memorable.

The three graphic organizers below go with the book, The Monster’s Party. The sentence pattern is, I can _____ . Teach about the difference between nouns and verbs and how action verbs are different.

Have you ever been to a party

My monster can…

What is something you can really do well?

The group below is tailored to go with the book, To Town. The sentence pattern is,  I will go to _______ on my _______ , my ______ _______ .

I will go…

I will go quiz

This graphic organizer goes with the book, The Farm Concert. The sentence pattern is, “________ , _________ ” went the  ________ .

G1 farm concert baby animals

Once you understand how to create these type of graphic organizers, it is easy to do for just about any literacy related activity.

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Freeology has a bunch of very useful graphic organizers. I use them with my classes all the time. For example, in the curriculum we use (Backpack by Mario Herrera & Diane Pinkley)  there is a 4 page pull out story called Backwards Betty.

Of course, Backpack has some great ideas on how to use the story in the class, like writing Betty’s activities backwards, but I wanted to take it a little farther and give the students a taste of what it is like in a real American school. I went to Freeology and downloaded the 8 event graphic organizer . Then the students had to re-read the story and pick out two events from each paragraph on each page, but first, I made sure to do a before reading activity.

I decided to use the reading short stories chart with a special emphasis on predicting what the story was about just by looking at the pictures. The bottom half asks them about the characters and the setting.

Next, I created a custom graphic organizer. I took short snippets from the story and inserted blank text boxes below, so the students could draw pictures of what Betty should be doing instead.

Finally, the students used the hamburger graphic organizer to create a paragraph based on the pictures they drew. First I modeled how to write the sentences and I scaffolded the sentences for the lower level ESL students by writing starter sentences on the board. At the same time, I introduced the concept of topic sentences which probably should have another post just devoted to that subject.

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