Graphic Organisers to use with the Research Process

Stage 1 Remembering Decide Task Definition

  • What is it exactly that I need to know?

  • What am I expected to do with the information

  • What do I already know?

  • What do I need to find out?

Fact Recall


Students recall all the facts they know about the question posed. If you are using Inspiration you can use the Rapid Fire button which will enable the students to add more information to each main fact.
The KWL chart stands for K –What do we know?; W –What do we want to know?; L- What have we learned? Students draw on their own knowledge, decide what else they would like to know and then they find the answers to those questions.

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Stage 2 ‘Understanding’ ‘Searching & Finding’ ‘Define" ‘Information Strategies’

  • What sort of information do I want? Pictures? Diagrams? Opinions? Interviews? Pamphlets?

  • Where could I find this sort of information? - a person, a library, a book, a computer, TV?

  • Can I find this information using catalogues, indexes, computers?

Finding Keywords

Internet search words

The Question Keywords

This is one method for finding keywords. From the initial question write all the possible reasons or answers that could answer the main question. Use the colour code to identify which answers are more probable and then highlight the nouns and verbs, these will be the keywords.
The Internet Search words diagram assists students to find keywords they can use for their research. Students write a research question and from that question they have to devise more memory and convergent questions that may help them to identify their keywords. Once they have answered the questions they pick out the words that might best be their research keywords.
When searching on the internet you can receive millions of hits, but the more pertinent keywords you use will minimize the hits. From the initial question type in some keywords in the boxes, use a thesaurus or right click on keyword using Word or Inspiration 8 to find synonyms.
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Stage 3 ‘Applying’ ‘Using & Finding’ ‘Location & Access’

  • What do these resources tell me about what I need to know?
  • Do I have the skills to extract the information using skimming, scanning, keywords?

Interview Questions

Writing Questions

What do we know?

Use these starters to design questions to ask in a survey or when interviewing another person.
Students are very able to find internet sites with information but they have difficulty turning that information into their own. Before they even start looking at the internet they need to formulate the question that will give them keywords to search with. Using the mindmap format they type in what they already know. They will then need to choose one of the ideas they have stated that they would like to know more about and generate a question around that.
Students can find keywords to use in further research by using what they already know. Depending on the topic decide on what criteria is needed to extract the keywords. Examples of criteria are: characteristics, habitat, food, description, size, feelings etc.
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Finding Relevant Text

Use keywords to find information on web pages. In this format teachers are able to see if the children can form a question, find keywords, find appropriate information from a website and then write new information using what they have found.

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Stage 4 ‘Analysing’ ‘Recording’ ‘Use of Information’

  • What do I need to make a note of?

  • Can I use layout, tabulation, punctuation, diagrams?

  • Can I organize my notes by indexing and filing them?


Find information

Fact and Opinion

The KWHL chart has an extra column where students acknowledge where they are going to get their knowledge from. Titles from books and hyperlinks to websites can be added here
This example is an overall assessment of a student’s research process. The teacher is able to see what the original question was, what the keywords and criteria were, URL links to the information are recorded and hyperlinks to the Word/Pages/ App that has their notes, and to the final presentation of the information.
This graphic organiser helps students to identify clues to how authentic a site is.
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What is Fact or Opinion

Similarities and Differences

Comparison Chart

Sometimes students can have difficulty identifying what is fact or opinion in a piece of writing. Use this graphic organiser to help them sort the sentences into Facts or Opinions.
Similarities and differences compare qualities and characteristics. Students need to be able to categorise what is the same and what is different, once they have that information they can present their findings as a summary.
Comparison charts show multiple similarities and differences between two things (people, places, events, ideas, etc.). Charts can be used to show common and different attributes, to compare and contrast items, and to evaluate information.
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Cause and Effect


Concept Layer Map

This exercise has the students looking at the causes and effects of two different Tsunamis. They then analyse what they have discovered and identify the common and different features of Tsunamis. The Websites are hyperlinked with full references listed below.
The fishbone has a positive and negative format that helps the student organize ideas and information arising from an issue. Students have to identify the key viewpoints of an issue and then classify the ideas. In this example students are identifying the positive and negative issues of having school uniforms.
A concept map illustrates knowledge and sharing of information. A concept map consists of symbols (or nodes) that contain a concept, item or question and labeled arrowed links that explain the relationship between the symbols. The arrow describes the direction of the relationship and reads like a sentence.
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Stage 5 ‘Creating’ ‘Presenting’ ‘Synthesis’

  • How am I going to pull all this information together and present it so that the main points come across clearly?


Narrative Writing Framework

Writing to Describe

Timelines can be used to track, events or personal lives. It can be very visual using a combination of graphics and text or it can be text based only. It tracks major events in a chronological order. An interesting activity to try with children is an alternative timeline where history didn’t happen and something else can be added in to change the history.
Narratives are written to entertain, motivate or teach morals and values. They are written in 2nd and 3rd person and are written in the past tense. Students need to be able to identify a conflict, write the important points in order and then identify the moral or summarise the story.
Describe an event or an object using scientific technical language. Write in the present tense using nouns, pronouns and conjunctions. Conclude your writing with an impersonal evaluative comment.
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Planning a Project

Writing Research Question Answers

Before and After Web

You will create a design brief. You will explain who it is for and why. You will explain what the expected outcome is and how you will do it.
Students often have trouble forming full answers to questions. Some of the teaching points that need to be made here are*
  • What are the keywords?
  • What are the key ideas in the information?
  • What are synonyms for some of the key ideas or keywords?
  • Including some of the question in the answer======
From your Prior Knowledge write what you already know about what you are going to read.Once you have read the text add what you have learned in the outside box. Adapted from
an idea by Sheena Cameron.
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Design a new innovative and ‘different’ product by making adjustments to an original one. Reinvent and Redesign a new product.

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Publishing Tools

Time and National Geographic Templates

Synthesise your information and present it as a Time or National Geographic magazine

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