Graphic Organizers for Writing

We have used graphic organizers for writing in our homeschool.  I find that that charts and graphs are helpful for visual learners.  My children have used them for writing paragraphs, essays, stories, and research papers.

Below you can download some of the charts that we have used.

Paragraphs  -- A simple form for brainstorming a paragraph consists of the main idea and the supporting facts. On the top of your form write the main idea. Then brainstorm supporting details. In the square below the main idea write one detail. When you are done brainstorming sequence the details. Then write your paragraph. A four sentence paragraph will have one main idea, two supporting details, and a concluding statement.

Essays – A flow chart is an easy way to write an essay. In the First shape write a topic. Then think about two or more facts about the topic. Write the facts into the shapes. The facts will become separate paragraphs so do not connect them. Add supporting details or examples under each fact. Conclude the essay with an emotional response or concluding statement.

Stories – Write down the theme of the story on the theme shape. Write character names and descriptions on the character shape. Think of what will happen in the story. Write your idea on the problem shape. Continue mapping your story until you have your ideas down on paper.

Gathering Information

Sometimes before we start to write we need to gather some information. We can use graphic organizers to help us.

One of the first charts that we can use has three columns. In the first column write down what you already know about the subject. In the next column write down what you want to know. In the last column write facts your have found in your reading.  

You could also use a simple spider web. A web can help you see the main idea and the supporting details.

 With a Venn diagram we can compare and contrast different points. Venn diagrams are two circles that overlap. On the outside circles write how the item is different. In the center where the two circles overlap write how the item is similar.

Graphic organizers are better than outlines for visual learners because it can help the child retain the information. You can even make it more visual with shapes and different colors.

If you have to write a report on a fictional story can you can use a graphic organizer. Draw some shapes on your paper. Label the shapes title, characters, theme, setting, etc. Then as you read the story add information to the chart.

Another idea is to make a character chart. List each character. Then under each character describe them.


I see lapbooks as being very similar to graphic organizers. They would be good for children who do not like to write detailed reports.

A lapbook has colored shapes that contain information about a topic. The shapes are then placed in a specially folded file folder. See my page on lapbooks for more information.

Free Language Arts Graphic Organizers

Here are five graphic organizers that you can download. The file is a PDF so you will need to have adobe reader on your computer. I saw that the online preview screen was not showing the words up. When you download the PDF everything is there.

The first is for writing simple paragraphs. In the first box write the main idea. Then write three supporting details. In the last box write a conclusion for your paragraph.

Next is a flow chart for writing essays. Write the topic sentence in the first block. Then write three supporting facts. For each fact write two supporting details. Then write an emotional response to the facts and a concluding statement to tie everything together.

The next is a story graph. You can use it to analyze a story that you have read or to write your own stories.

The third is a basic spider web. You can use it for writing or note taking.  The last language arts graphic organizer is a Venn diagram.

We use graphic organizers a lot. See this page for how we use them for biology.

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