Free ABC Graphic Organizer
As teachers, we are often running around from one thing to the next – lesson planning, gathering materials, making copies, attending faculty meetings, prepping for IEPs, covering outside duty, teaching, grading, etc. There is hardly enough time to plan, let alone to find meaningful activities!
Sometimes, you just need a good, solid graphic organizer that you can pull out and use without much prep. For this reason, I have created this free ABC graphic organizer worksheet. It can be adapted and used with almost any lesson.
Keep reading for my top five lesson ideas to best utilize this graphic organizer as you teach history in your classroom – each idea is chock full of my favorite teaching resources!
ABC Graphic Organizer Lesson Ideas
1. Use with History Videos
This ABC graphic organizer worksheet is a great way for students to take notes when watching history videos. The best part? You don’t have to type up a list of questions to go along with the video!
How it works:
- Students watch the history video closely and listen for key terms that fit different letters of the alphabet. Challenge students to fill in as many letters as they can.
- Hints: Turn on the video subtitles. Additionally, print a transcript of the video to help struggling students.
You can find links to my favorite history videos here:
2. Use with Primary Sources
This ABC graphic organizer worksheet could also be used to analyze primary sources. Primary sources are documents, images, or artifacts that provide first-hand accounts of historical events.
But why use primary sources in the first place? Well, primary sources bring history to life for students! They allow students the chance to do the work of a historian and connect with the past in a personal way.
How it works:
- First, give your students a primary source to study.
- Then ask students to write down observations about the primary source. Challenge them to make observations using as many different letters of the alphabet as they can.
- Example: If students were studying this photograph of a Civil War soldier, they might make these observations:
- A – amputee
- B – boy
- C – Civil War
You can find links to my favorite primary sources here:
3. Use with Historical Books
Another way this ABC graphic organizer can be used is to take notes while reading.
Often, social studies lessons consist of reading from an article or textbook. But how fun would it be to use picture books to teach a social studies concept instead?!
How it works:
- First, give your students a historical text to read – you could use picture books, articles, textbooks, etc.
- Next, have your students read the assigned text closely and look for key terms that fit different letters of the alphabet. Challenge students to fill in as many letters as they can.
You can find links to my favorite historical children’s books here:
- Age of Exploration Picture Books
- Colonial America Picture Books
- American Revolution Books
- Westward Expansion Picture Books
- Civil War Picture Books
4. Use to Introduce or Review a History Unit
This ABC graphic organizer is also perfect for activating background knowledge when introducing a new history unit – or for reviewing when concluding a unit!
How it works:
- When introducing a new history unit:
- First, present the topic. You could do this by using an object, picture, name, or even the title of the unit!
- Next, ask students to brainstorm things they already know about this topic – people, places, events, etc.
- Then, students write down these words on the ABC graphic organizer. Challenge students to fill in as many different letters of the alphabet as they can.
- When concluding a history unit:
- First, have a quick discussion with your class highlighting the most important information from the unit.
- Next, have students write down words or phrases they have learned throughout the unit. Challenge students to fill in as many different letters of the alphabet as they can. Students can do this activity independently or in partners!
- Hint: Give students access to the resources used while learning the unit. This way, they can look back through the information to find key words and phrases. It is a great skill-building activity to sort through the information and find the most important details!
- You could even use this graphic organizer to review a more focused topic rather than a complete unit (for example, a person, place, time period, event, etc.).
You can find links to my American history units here:
- Age of Exploration Unit
- 13 Colonies Unit
- Declaration of Independence Unit
- Revolutionary War Unit
- US Constitution Unit
- Westward Expansion Unit
- Civil War Unit
5. Use to Brainstorm When Writing
Finally, this ABC graphic organizer can be used as a brainstorming activity for opinion or expository writing prompts.
Often, students are expected to cite text evidence when answering a given prompt. This organizer can help your students gather information from the article in an organized and simple way!
How it works:
- First, students are given an article and essay prompt.
- Second, analyze the essay prompt all together as a class. Make sure the students understand exactly what is expected of them.
- Next, read the article all together as a class.
- Then, students read the article again independently. This time, students search for key words and phrases that can help them answer the essay prompt. Using the ABC graphic organizer, students write down these key words and phrases in the correct letter box.
- Students will use the information gathered on the graphic organizer to help them write their essay.
Download the Free ABC Graphic Organizer
As you can see, this ABC graphic organizer is a versatile activity that can be used in a variety of history lessons. To download, simply click the button below. You will receive both a printable version of the graphic organizer and a link to a Google Slides version. Happy teaching!
Looking for more social studies lessons? If so, check out these other free lesson plans I have created! All lesson plans are Google Classroom compatible – perfect for both in-person and distance learning.