LC Journal of Special Education


Many students are faced with the daily routines and demands of reading complex, ambiguous, de-motivating text book materials which pose no significance to them, and in many situations, they are unable to derive meaning or make sense of what they have read. One of the many unfortunate circumstances that students with learning disabilities have to face daily include challenging tasks, which are comprised of: texts not being reader-friendly, text materials written above their reading and comprehension level, text which focuses on skills instruction in isolation, and, text which requires higher-level thinking and reasoning. This sometimes leads to frustration. Students with learning disabilities need to interact with the text and learning experiences that are embedded in real- world situations. In order to focus on the relevant information, and organize it in meaningful ways, they need that level of comprehenension, thus making information easier to understand and learn (Gagnon & Maccini, 2005; as cited in Maccini & Gagnon, 2008). This is where the introduction and effective accomplishment of graphic organizers can be applied. In other words, educators can use graphic organizers to come to the rescue of students! (Dye, 2000). The main purpose of this strategy is to make complex materials easier to conceptualize and retrieve. Boudah, Lenz, Bulgren, Schumaker & Deshler, (2000) stated that these strategies “help students understand where they have been, where they are, and where they are going on the journey though the content” (p. 2). In summary, graphic organizers are like maps which direct students learning through the content materials, for better comprehension, and also in the acquisition of knowledge which therefore will become meaningful and memorable.