Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Graphic Organizers and Reading in the MFL classroom

I remember when "graphic organizers" was the buzz word and at the school district in which I worked, if the teacher had "g.o." on his/her lesson plan, the principal was happy.  I didn't like them at that time because they were basic and generic.  Boring blocks or circles with spokes coming out of them that looked like bicycle wheels.

The dull graphic organizers of the past are gone.  I now see their value and use them often when reading novels with my students, and create ones that are specific to the text.  

When I start reading a new book with my students, my goal is to help them fully understand the characters, the problem, the tensions, etc.  When that information is pulled together in a graphic organizer, it helps the students to connect to the characters and draws them into the story.

Below are examples of graphic organizers that I use for the first chapters of several books.   (my disclaimer: My artistic skills are challenged and the idea in my mind always looks better than what ends up in the paper.)


LA GUERRA SUCIA        Download HERE

Robo en la noche      Download HERE

Vida o muerte en el Cusco  Download HERE

Robo en la noche      (ch1-3) FInd the download HERE

La vampirata    Download HERE 

Two additional graphic organizers I use are from Martina Bex found on the link below:
El nuevo Houdini - chapter 1 esquema 

Esperanza - chapter 1 esquema 

Information on many of the books listed above is used with permission by TPRS Publishing, Inc.


  1. Thanks for sharing! I like to use Martina Bex's esquemas for "Esperanza" instead of the worksheet-type questions, too. They really do help students organize text events better! I've tried my hand at some graphic organizers for "Patricia va a California" as well. (And as I like to remind my students, ésa no es la clase de arte. :))

  2. Thanks for sharing! I absolutely love the graphic organizer for Robo en la noche. Would you be willing to share the file with me?

    1. Hi Karla,
      I highly doubt that you will see this comment since it is almost one year after you posted it. I apologize for that. I used to get notifications when people had left comments but the settings must be been switched somehow. Plus, I took a step back from blogging in the last year and a half so I barely checked the comments or stats. I had other things that needed to be tended to and the blog kind of got lost in the shuffle.

      I will gladly share the file with you, but I will need to have an email address. When people leave a comment, there is no way for me to find their email if they haven’t left it in their comment.

  3. Hello Cynthia, I was wondering if I could use your Robo en la noche Graphic organizer for Chapter 1 characters. ¡Gracias de antemano!

    1. Natalia
      I will gladly send them to you but I need an email to send them.
      If you would rather not comment with your email, then you can send the request to this email: cynthiaunderscorehitzatyahoodotcom

  4. Hello Cynthia, I am so glad to have found your blog, there are so many good resources on here. I was wondering if I could use your Robo en la noche activities, I have tried accessing your links and I cant get them to work. My email is

    1. Hello - I sent a response to the email address you listed above with a question regarding the resources.