Graphic Organizers: Literature, Nonfiction, and Writing Graphic Organizers to help your K-5 students

Updated: Apr 12


Why use graphic organizers?

Reading and Writing Graphic Organizers

ELA teachers, let’s be honest, while there may only be 10 Literature and 10 Informational Text Standards, we all know that each of those standards can probably be broken down about five more times because each one has so much depth (and so many additional bullet points).


Bear with me as I quickly unravel Reading Literature Standard 3 for first graders.


“Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.”


Written within that one short standard, our students need to master several different literary analysis techniques and terminology to be successful:

  • Describe characters - What is a character and what types of words describe a character?

  • Describe the setting - What is a setting and what types of words describe a setting?

  • Describe major events in the story

To top it off, all three need to be described using key details in the story. Which yes, as you may have guessed, means they need to understand what key details are as well.


Sounds like a lot to unravel for a first grader, right?


That is exactly why graphic organizers are so important. It can be incredibly overwhelming for students to analyze texts in the way they are expected. A graphic organizer can prevent our students from becoming overwhelmed as they practice, and it allows us to see if they are mastering those particular skills associated with the graphic organizer in a quick glance.

How to use graphic organizers in your classroom!

Reading and Writing Graphic Organizers
Reading and Writing Graphic Organizers

Students can use graphic organizers for various literature, informational text, and writing standards in small groups, individually, or together as a class using your smartboard. Personally, I love utilizing the “I do, we do, you do” method in my classroom to help students practice new concepts.


Graphic organizers are a perfect way to break down a standard, in student friendly terms, for students to grasp more difficult concepts that could otherwise confuse them, and our visual (and type A) learners absolutely thrive off of these.


Not to mention, graphic organizers make excellent formative assessments that are quick and easy to grade.

Graphic Organizers for Reading and Writing

Sign up for a FREE packet of graphic organizers that can be used with ANY book!


In my free packet of graphic organizers, you will find 37 ready to use worksheets for students in grades K-5 that will make life in your classroom easier and free up your valuable time. Let's be honest, it’s hard to find a moment to use the restroom as a teacher, who has time to create 37 graphic organizers? Did I mention there is a digital option for each graphic organizer too!


They cover various literature standards including character, theme, main event, conclusion analysis, parts of a story, and more! The packet also includes nonfiction graphic organizers covering standards like main idea, compare/contrast, and cause/effect. And if you’re looking for writing graphic organizers, look no further! You’ll find options for a book review, summary, informational and essay writing.


The possibilities for using graphic organizers in a classroom are endless in all grade levels and content areas, and if you’re looking for a way to make your life as a teacher a bit easier, an entire packet of no-prep graphic organizers is the way to go!


Check out these blogs!

Using Informational text in Your Classroom

Why Literacy Centers are Important (You can add these graphic organizers to centers too!)


Check out these resources: