Welcome to a new series where we feature great books for language learners and teachers. Created upon the concept of visual learning, The Visual Edge: Graphic Organizers for Standards Based Learning, by Sargy Letuchy, is a comprehensive set of innovative visual instructional tools designed for English, Science, and History, grades 6-12. The book is a positive addition to a differentiated curriculum as it provides a flexible bridge for teachers to facilitate dynamic learning experiences that develop all students’ upper level thinking skills related to learning standards. Each page includes 3 sections: (1) the standards, (2) an explanation of that standard and how to use the graphic organizer in class, and (3) the graphic organizer itself, which is custom made for the standard.
Sargy explains how to align graphic organizers with standards:
If the standard is reading analysis, such as “compare and contrast,” a Venn diagram would be the best tool to use because it naturally points to the task of comparison. However, for the language application standard, “use a particular grammar topic,” an example guide is probably the best option because it supports demonstration. For the writing style standard, “persuade using claims, reasons, and evidence,” a flow chart or table is best because each component is being captured in a connected manner.
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