What are knowledge organisers?
A knowledge organiser contains all the key information from a particular topic summarised in one page. It includes key words and their definitions, important facts, diagrams, methods and skills relating to the topic.
Why are they useful?
Knowledge organisers help children to organise the content they need to learn and remember. This makes it easier for them to remember the facts and recall them from their memory when they need to use the information in the future.
How can they be used?
Research shows that our brains remember things more efficiently when we know the ‘bigger picture’ and can see the way that little pieces of knowledge within that subject area link together. Making links, essentially, helps information move into our long-term memory.
The more memories are used, the stronger the memory becomes and the easier it is to access. For children, this means regular practise at retrieving the facts they have learnt and using them in a variety of ways. They could play games with the information, explain the facts to someone, apply the information to a new situation or present the knowledge organiser into a different format.
How can I help?
The knowledge organisers contain all the facts needed to quiz your child on the content from a topic.
- You could ask your child some questions on the content, for example the definition of a few key words or challenge them to draw a diagram from memory. Testing their knowledge with one or two questions a day can make a big difference to how much information they remember. Perhaps it could become part of the after dinner or breakfast routine.
- You could prompt your child to turn some of the information on the knowledge organiser into a different format
- The key vocabulary list could become flashcards
- The key facts could be transformed into a mind map to show links between ideas
- Information could become a song, story or comic strip
- A diagram could become a poster, a collage or a model
- You could ask your child to teach you about something on the knowledge organiser. Having to explain information to someone else, and answer their questions about it, is a great way to reinforce their knowledge and identify areas they need to go back to and revise again.
- You could suggest turning the information into a multiple-choice quiz, either on paper or using a website. This task requires them to process the information to write questions and come up with correct and incorrect answers. You could then use it to their knowledge or to host a quiz with family or friends, either at home or online.