Cause and effect graphic organizers are used to organize content into two categories. Usually the categories have one event leading to another event. However sometimes one of these categories uses an idea as a cause or an effect.
In some cases there are multiple causes and one effect or one cause and multiple effects. Another version of a cause and effect graphic organizer is when there is a cause or causes, an event and then the effect or effects.
Graphic organizers can help teachers differentiate instruction in two different ways:
- Multiple intelligence learning styles: Cause and effect graphic organizers use both the logical multiple intelligence learning styles, through the organization and order of events and or ideas, and the spatial multiple intelligence learning styles due to the visual it creates. Teachers can increase the spatial multiple intelligence learning style that is used by allowing students to draw the content instead of writing it or drawing it to reinforce the content along with the written text. Teachers can differentiate instruction more by using the multiple intelligence learning styles by using cause and effect graphic organizers as well as other multiple intelligence learning style activities such as musical, kinesthetic, linguistic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. This will increase the interest of students in a classroom.
- Leveling/Scaffolding/Tiering: Graphic organizers are used often for lower ability level students. Content can be simplified and clarified through lists and groups. For this reason graphic organizers are also often stated as accommodations for SPED and ELL students. Another way to level a cause and effect graphic organizer is the amount of content already typed or written in before the student receives it. Students with a higher ability level will have the least amount of content in their cause and effect graphic organizer so as to encourage as much critical thinking as possible.
Teachers need to remember that in order to differentiate instruction the same content must be used. A great resource for graphic organizers is http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kasha-Mastrodomenico. They include text boxes in all parts of the graphic organizers so that inputting content is fast and easy.
Kasha Mastrodomenico (Connect with me on Linkedin.com)