Posted in Elementary Education Preparation

Kinesthetic Graphic Organizer

Teaching Strategy #3

This week a guest speaker, Sierra Nelson from Utah State University, spoke in my science methods class. If you ever get the chance to listen to her, do it! She had many great lesson ideas for science, social studies, and more. During one of her mock lessons, Source Search, a teaching strategy caught my eye. For anyone walking by, it may just look like we were playing a game (and we were!), but we were learning as well.

My class formed two lines. In the front of the class, there were four containers that were labeled natural resources, farm, factory, and store. At the front of each line, there was a stack of cards with pictures face down on the ground. The pictures were of everyday things such as cows, canned food, and shoes. The cards were to be sorted into one of the four categories using the question, “What’s the source?” The lines raced against each other and tried to sort all of their cards first. The first team to finish won a prize. Then we had a debriefing session. When we started looking at the cards in each container, we realized we had sorted most of them completely wrong. There were supposed to be no cards in the factory or store container because neither of them are the source of any items. Nonetheless, the lesson was engaging enough for even college students.

Kinesthetic Graphic Organizer


Physical way to organize information.
Have a container for each category and two sets of cards. Line the students up in two equal lines. Let the race begin to see who can get through their pile of cards first. Then debrief and introduce or review the topic.


  • Containers
  • Cards with pictures or words


  • Learning through a game
  • Engaging for all ages
  • Caters to different learning styles

Ways to Implement the Teaching Strategy

  • Source Search
  • Categorize artifacts/organize information
  • Introduce a new concept
  • Review material


Formative -OR- Summative

  • Can be used to introduce a new concept
  • Review the concept they are learning
  • Pre-assessment
  • Post-assessment


  • Teacher takes mental notes of who is understanding and who may need a little extra instructions (if the cards are not being placed in the correct category)

Tons of Great Lessons: Utah State University – Agriculture in the Classroom


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