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Graphic Organizers using regular paper - Diane E Tatum

Although I already use foldables, a tool that helps kids make a kinesthetic learning tool with paper, its always good to find ways to use it more efficiently and effectively.

(We folded a paper into 8 boxes for our notes on this- hard to capture as well in text)


Why use folded paper-

  • Schema-connect new learning to old learning
  • Categorize information to make connections
  • Student engagement using emotion and hypothalamus
  • Graphic organization without making copies


Middle school students because

  • -curiosity
  • -fun and active interaction
  • -desire to know-what goes in the box?
  • -Peer pressure to do activity


  • -just need a sheet of paper, don’t need tons of materials to prep


  • -beginning of unit
  • -brainstorming activities- writing project
  • -as a final project
  • -to categorize information
  • -to create homework sheets (math problem in one box, work in another, solution, etc


  • -notetaking
  • -projects
  • -homework assignments
  • -journaling
  • -vocabulary


  • -Graphic organizers with out copying
  • -Keeps kids engaged
  • -Organization! Middle school students struggle with organizing stuff and info
  • -Linked learning- take what they know and connect to new information
  • -Better retention of information



  • break into two halves-
  • Hamburger fold- line paper folded to square
  • Hotdog fold- longwise


Hamburger fold:

  • Brainstorm 2-4 paragraph essay
  • Booklet
  • Compare/contrast

Mini hot dog

Creates 4 long thin lines

  • -Short answer responses
  • -Math problems
  • -Outlining

Super mini hot dog

Creates 8 long thin lines

  • -story map-title, characters setting, conflict, events 1,2,3, solution
  • -scientific method


two columns

  • -tests
  • -vocabulary
  • -comparing cultures/societies

Supersize hotdog

4 columns

  • -can make into the pyramid- name tag, three-sided project
  • -more comparisons than standard hotdog


  • -notebook
  • -storyboard
  • -cartoon- comic strip to show idea/theme/concept
  • -sequencing
  • -flow chart
  • -cause & effect

Trifold/double trifold

Fold into three columns. Fold in half again to make 6 columns

  • -Pamphlet
  • -KWL
  • -Travel brochure
  • -Sensory details

Pie Wedge Fold

Hamburger, hotdog, then grab the middle corner and fold to the side. This creates 8 wedges.

  • -Web map
  • -Notesheet- 8 parts of culture
  • -Art project
  • -fraction in the middle- each one out is an equivalent
  • -word – synonyms
  • -8 parts of speech

Snowflake project

  • fold white paper into pie wedge
  • write words about snow on each (like adjective project)
  • create a poem and write on the piece of each flake for final product

Left over strip when squaring paper… book marks, voting, etc

lesson ideas:

2 boxes

  • -two paragraph essay
  • -cause and effect

4 boxes

  • -great for vocab 4 squares
  • -accordian mini-hotdog- can fold up to only see main term
  • -collection of info


  • -three column notes- word, definition, visual represent
  • -paleozoic, mesoxoic, Cenozoic
  • -venn diagram
  • double tripfold
  • -continents
  • -6 key questions-
  • - PEMDAS

8 boxes-


  • -words-antonyms
  • -if-then
  • -info – picture (planets)
  • -observation chart – 8 days of data or 4 days with qualitative and quantitative

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Comment by Vivian Barker on November 5, 2010 at 11:53pm
Thanks for posting this!!! I attended the scienc vocabulary sesion at the same time--you just made my day!! Hope to attend the Grapic Organizers in 3D tomorrow morning.

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