Science graphic organizers are great tools in the classroom. One of my favorite things is to have students web their ideas about a topic after a lab activity. This is a 10 minute activity that helps your students make those necessary connections to truly understand a concept. While labs are fun, educational, and necessary, students need to reflect on their experience and make connections!
Group concept maps are also a great idea because students get a chance to see the connections that their peers are making. Sometimes, I include terms that they must incorporate in their webs, then leave the rest to them.
Allowing students to choose their own type of graphic organizer to demonstrate learning is important and a great activity for the "output" part of science notebooking.
For example, after modeling the moon phases, reading a picture book, watching a video clip showing the appearance of the moon changing, and charting the phases of the moon at home, I would give students about 10 minutes to web their ideas about "Phases of the Moon". Then, students would get into a small group of 3 to compare their connections and make a group concept map. I would visit with each group to make sure they are explaining the connections on their arrows and can explain how the ideas are related.
Ready to Use Graphic Organizers
I created some graphic organizers to use this year with my 4th grade students to reinforce their hands-on experiences. They are geared toward particular concepts, but also include some blackline masters you can use for any topic. The information you include is up to you and your students! You can check them out in my TpT Store.