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Graphically Speaking a Thousand Words

Aug 18, 2007
We all know the old truism that a picture speaks a thousand words. Why should we let all those words get wasted if there is a better way? When I was younger, I would often find myself wishing that somebody would turn all those lines of words in my books into pictures. My teachers would often come to class with charts which would deal with the longest chapters in a concise way. These were quite simple to follow and very colorful. What I liked most about them, however, was that they made learning fun.

Today, my kids have begun with their studies of long lines of words. I have been trying to teach them to use flowcharts and matrices and make their student lives just a lot simpler. They have themselves a joyride using their crayons and making their charts brighter and prettier.

Of course, more than being fun, graphic organizers of all kinds help improve learning. They lay stress on the important ideas in a particular subject of study. They reveal the patterns and associations that exist between a number of different aspects. If you are in the process of understanding the elements of causality between a number of points, a graphic organizer makes that easier to understand too.

Brainstorming is made a whole lot simpler when one tries to use charts and diagrams to pictorially represent the various ideas that emerge at various points of time. Most of the ideas that emerge at brainstorming sessions tend to appear rather random. So, it is a great idea to graphically represent the various associations between concepts so as to avoid confusion. If one does this right from the beginning, as the volume of ideas grows, the element of confusion will remain under control. So whether it is likeness or antagonism or causality, maintaining a graphic organizer will make life a whole lot simpler for you.

Today is a lot more different from the times when when we had to sit down with our pencils and erasers, rubbing out older lines as new developments emerged. These days both children and grown-ups can make use of computerized graphic organizers. A simple click of the mouse and a little dragging will allow you to make all kinds of modifications to your chart. So whether you are looking for an simpler way to study new concepts or are simply trying to look through the information that you have collected, graphic organizers are usually a great help.

Of course, for those of us that are not that comfortable with computers, it is a good idea to stick to the good old crayons and sticky notes. With charts, flowcharts and Venn diagrams, learning and presenting becomes quite easy.
About the Author
Ajeet Khurana recommends that you find out more by reading: Graphic Organisers, Brainstorming Tools and Software, and Software.
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