Visual Learning

Visual Learning

Graphic Organizers and Word Clouds

Research on effective teaching and learning strategies (Classroom Instruction That Works, Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock) identifies non-linguistic representation strategies. The use of graphic organizers is an effective way to address different learning preferences.

Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are concept maps that assist in the process of organizing ideas and communicating more effectively. Below we have several graphic organizers that will assist you as a teacher to organize your thoughts and ideas and share them easily with your students. They are essential resources for students to organize their thoughts and ideas when working on a project or paper.

Try at least one of the two organizers below. Each is a little different and there are various features that will help you determine which one to use for the project you are working on.

Resource Name Age Level Description Tutorial
K-5 Create bubbles with text and attachments to brainstorm and share ideas Check out this screenshot tutorial



K-12 Brainstorm and share ideas by adding text, urls, videos and images to the Popples Check out this video tutorial

Word Clouds

A word cloud is a visual representation of word frequency. If a word is repeated, it will show more prominence in a word cloud. Word clouds are used in the classroom for vocabulary practice, to highlight prominent words, and analyze sets of words. Try at least one of the word cloud resources below. You will also want to check the Additional Resources page for several more choices. Like the organizers above, each of the word cloud resources has different features for the task you want to accomplish.

Resource Name Age Level Description



K-4 A great place to start for easy to create word clouds for the elementary student. You must enter 3 or more words for the app to function properly

Answer Garden

Answer Garden

K-12 AnswerGarden is a way to solicit brief feedback from a group. It can be used by teachers to establish the knowledge level of a class on a certain topic. AnswerGarden is used by creative teams for digital brainstorming sessions. As students answer, it populates a word cloud. Here is a quickstart guide.



K-12 With Tagxedo you can change the words into different shapes. There are a lot of editing features, including different fonts, colors, and backgrounds. You can save your word cloud as a jpg or png image. To use this online resource you may be prompted to download Microsoft Silverlight to use the features.



K-12 You are able to create clouds of words, terms, vocabulary, phrases, and much more. If a word is repeated it will be more pronounced in the Cloud. You can change the colors, fonts, layouts, and color schemes. You can print them out and share them with your students. Read 108 ways to use Word Clouds in the Classroom. Note: you will need to make sure that Java on your computer is updated for Wordle to work properly.



Infographics are a way to sort, arrange, and present data and images in a visually appealing way. There are several online resources for creating infographics. The one shown here was created using Piktochart. Piktochart has tutorials and a basic guide for the creation of infographics. Another resource you might enjoy is called A tutorial is available here. Both of these sites contain different templates.

Infographics are often used to convey information. To learn how to create one that will send the right message, read this blog post which has 11 infographics about infographics.

QR Codes

QR Code

QR is short for Quick Response. It is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode first designed for the automotive industry. It has become popular because you can store a lot of information in the graphic image. The data can be retrieved and read with QR reader software. Many teachers are creating them to provide a hyperlink to a website for students, or to provide additional information such as book reviews. Students can use a variety of devices to read QR codes. The device will need to have a camera, Internet connection and a small application to decode the QR code.
The information in the QR code might be an assignment, useful phone numbers, websites for the class, study guides, email addresses, messages, YouTube videos, Twitter, Facebook and much more.

Read how QR codes can be used in the classroom.

To create a QR code for students to access on their iPad or phone use any of the following QR code creators:

  1. QR Stuff-
  2. Kaywa-
  3. Google Chrome has a widget to create a QR code

You and your students will need an App on your phone or device to read the QR codes, and the App store for your device will have a free QR code reader.