The Visual Edge: Graphic Organizers for Standards Based Learning

The Visual Edge: Graphic Organizers for Standards Based Learning

by Sargy Letuchy


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When I was first introduced to the Common Core Standards, I remember becoming concerned about the future of my curriculum. I had taught some of the new standards, but I had no experience with many of them. The sheer quantity was daunting, because in many grade levels teachers are asked to teach over 60 standards in 180 school days, averaging to about 3 days of instruction per standard. In addition, Common Core involves basing instruction and assessment upon precise, cognitively-demanding outcomes requiring higher-level thinking skills such as critical analysis and comprehensive evaluation. Even the most skillful teacher would be challenged by this overwhelming quantity and rigor.

Therefore, like many educators, it’s no wonder I felt apprehensive when first contemplating how to implement Common Core. I had many questions on my mind: How am I going to teach over 60 standards in a school year? How am I going to engage students and keep them engaged? It seemed like a challenge without a clear solution at the time, but after months of ideation, I came to a promising approach. It is indeed possible to tackle this quantity and rigor but only with the right tool-one that is based on the proven principle of visual instruction coupled with the decomposition of the standards. Research has proved the positive effects of visual instruction by demonstrating that 65% of the population learns visually1, and graphic organizers have positive effects on reading comprehension, student achievement, thinking and learning skills, retention, and cognitive learning theory2. I strongly believe that leveraging this visually based concept in classrooms will allow teachers to help their students master the rigorous demands of Common Core.


I developed this book to intricately depict the concept of visual learning and to serve as a comprehensive set of graphic organizers and example guides for the grades 6-12 English, History/Social Studies, and Science/Technical standards. Each page provides a carefully crafted visual model that captures the variables inherent in each standard and allows teachers to precisely target the intended skill(s) of the standard. Therefore, each page consists of an explanation of a standard(s), the corresponding visual instructional tool representing that standard(s) (e.g., a graphic organizer or example guide), and detailed instructions on how to use it for its intended purpose.

For easy use, this book is organized into five sections according to grade level:

• 6th grade

• 7th grade

• 8th grade

• 9th-10th grade

• 11th-12th grade

Each section has a chapter on Common Core’s language modalities and disciplines:

• Reading Informational Text

• Reading Literature Text

• Writing

• Speaking/Listening

• Language

• History/Social Studies

• Science/Technical


Teachers can use this book as a supplement to their existing strategies to create more efficiency and effectiveness in managing the quantity and precision that Common Core demands. Specifically, the graphic organizers and example guides can be leveraged in modeling, guided and independent practice, formative and summative assessment, portfolios, projects, and as a basis for feedback. I believe that these tools will help teachers more easily guide students down the path of mastery, achievement, and growth. Additionally, I hope that parents can also utilize this book as a guide to understand their children’s learning outcomes so that they can partner with teachers and get more effectively involved in the academic success of their children

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780998372204
Publisher: The Visual Edge
Publication date: 12/01/2016
Pages: 442
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sargy Letuchy has taught ESL and Social Science throughout his teaching career in suburban Chicago and is the author of The Visual Edge: Graphic Organizers for Standards Based Learning. He holds a Bachelors of Education from Eastern Illinois University, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Midwestern State University, and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University. Sargy is passionate about curriculum engineering for standards based outcomes and helping both teachers and students achieve instructional results. His experience also includes presenting, consulting, and writing on Common Core and Curriculum.

Table of Contents

Section 1: 6th grade
Chapter 1 Reading Informational Text
Chapter 2 Reading Literature Text
Chapter 3 Writing
Chapter 4 Speaking/Listening
Chapter 5 Language

Section 2: 7th grade
Chapter 6 Reading Informational Text
Chapter 7 Reading Literature Text
Chapter 8 Writing
Chapter 9 Speaking/Listening
Chapter 10 Language

Section 3: 8th grade, 6-8 History/Social Studies, and 6-8 Science/Technical
Chapter 11 Reading Informational Text
Chapter 12 Reading Literature Text
Chapter 13 Writing
Chapter 14 Speaking/Listening
Chapter 15 Language
Chapter 16 6-8 History/Social Studies
Chapter 17 6-8 Science/Technical

Section 4: 9th-10th grade
Chapter 18 Reading Informational Text
Chapter 19 Reading Literature Text
Chapter 20 Writing
Chapter 21 Speaking/Listening
Chapter 22 Language
Chapter 23 History/Social Studies
Chapter 24 Science/Technical

Section 5: 11th-12th grade
Chapter 25 Reading Informational Text
Chapter 26 Reading Literature Text
Chapter 27 Writing
Chapter 28 Speaking/Listening
Chapter 29 Language
Chapter 30 History/Social Studies
Chapter 31 Science/Technical

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