Graphic organizers for students with ADHD and learning disabilities


Brian Friedlander, Ph.D.

When teaching reading and writing to students with learning disabilities, a good approach is to use six types of assistive technology: tools that offer 1) word prediction; 2) text-to-speech; 3) voice typing; 4) graphic organizers; 5) digital books; and 6) visual supports, said Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D. in his webinar “Tech to the Rescue: Create a Technology Toolbox for Students with ADHD and LD” on This article will discuss graphic organizers.

Friedlander, an associate professor of education at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ, has written several books on educational technology, including Engaging the Resistant Child Through Computers and Assistive Technology: What Every Educator Needs to Know.


Mindomo, at, is a free web-based tool that helps students rearrange and organize ideas, and includes templates for prompts for different types of essays. It asks students questions to help figure out what to write. For teachers, it permits mind map assignments, a history of student activity, in-class presentations, and more.

For students, it permits in-class collaboration on maps, course presentations, group brainstorming, visual note-taking, and essay planning and writing.

Mindomo mindmap

Mindomo also includes a Help page with step-by-step instructions and videos on how to use the product.


MindMeister also provides a free and web-based mindmap template, and provides as-you-go instruction to help students get started. The interface is simpler but seems a little more user-friendly.

MindMeister mindmap

Worksheet Works offers 14 different graphic organizer templates which can be downloaded in PDF format. They include a clock diagram, KWHL chart, T-chart, decision-making diagram, Y-chart, PMI chart, Venn diagram, cycle diagram, star diagram, Frayer model, pie chart, compare & contrast chart, fishbone diagram, and compare & contrast matrix.


Also see the Learning Disabilities Association of America website for other graphic organizer resources, at


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