being a metacognitive tool, graphic organizers are a way for students
to organize information, draw conclusions, summarize and share information
with peers. They also serve as responses to literature. Because
of the open-ended nature of graphic organizers, they may be used
with any book or topic. It's best to have these available throughout
the entire unit on Woody Guthrie so students can use graphic organizers
the most popular and effective graphic organizer of all was designed
by Donna Ogle of the Reading and Language Departmant at National
Louis University, Evanston, Illinois. The "KWL" is an excellent
tool for beginning a new unit. On a huge sheet of butcher paper
prepare three columns. The heading of the first column (K) will
be, "What do we know about Woody Guthrie?" The middle column (W)
is "What do we want to know about Woody Guthrie?" The third column
(L) is, "What have we learned about Woody Guthrie?"
the KWL activity by brainstorming with the class before you start
the Woody Guthrie unit. What is the previous knowledge of the students?
What do they know about Woody Guthrie? Record all responses in the
are they wondering about Woody Guthrie? What do we want to learn
more about? Record these inquiries in the W column. For the duration
of your unit on Woody Guthrie, keep this KWL posted in the room,
working to answer the questions in the middle column.
the unit is over, gather the class around the KWL again, asking
students what they have learned about Woody Guthrie. Record on the
on a traditional quilt pattern, this format provides a way to sequence
events, jot main ideas or keep track of characters. One way to use
it is to write Woody Guthrie's name in the small curved section,
recording events of his life on the panels of the fan. Or the students
can write, "What I've Learned About Woody Guthrie" in the large
section, listing ideas in the pieces of the fan.
is room to write the title and author of a related book in the small
corner with events of the book written in the fan pieces, illustrating
events in the large blank corner. Poet of the People by Bonnie
Christensen or This Land was Made for You and Me by Elizabeth
Partridge would work well with this type of organizer.
use would be filling in the fan with several Woody Guthrie songs
that the student knows or likes while writing "My Collection of
Woody Guthrie Songs" in the curved corner.
the format of a newspaper, students write as if they were back in
1935. Student writes name beside "Editor." There are two places
to draw pictures and add captions to go with the stories written
in the newspaper. Suggested headlines are "Family Struggles" and
"Weather Report." There is no suggested headline for the lead story.
format could be adapted and the date changed to any year significant
in Woody Guthrie's life, for example, 1941 when he was commissioned
by the U.S. Department of the Interior to write songs promoting
the building of the Bonneville Dam. An appropriate headline could
be "Roll on, Columbia." Another possibility would be the year 1945
when Woody met Moe Asch and began to record in New York. The headline
might be, "This Land is Your Land." (See Writers
Blank Dust Bowl Newpaper