Creating Graphic Organizers Using Microsoft Word



Using Microsoft Word students will be able to create a variety of graphic organizers for their CultureQuest projects



Activity: Creating Graphic Organizers

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. On the Menu Bar, choose File, then Page Set Up.
  3. Change the Top, Bottom, Right, and Left Margin measurements to half an inch. (.5)
  4. In Page Setup change the Paper Size: Orientation to Landscape.
  5. If the Draw toolbar isn’t visible (usually at the bottom of the screen), on the Menu Bar, select View, then Tool Bars. Select the Drawing Tool by clicking it with the mouse.






  1. The Draw Tool Bar will appear on the computer screen. It will look like this:





  1. The Draw Tool Bar contains many tools that are useful in creating flow charts, Venn diagrams, story maps, causal chains, time lines, sequencing, character webs, and others.
  2. Click the AutoShapes Button on the Drawing Tool Bar. A pop-up menu will appear. Move the mouse over the choices on the menu and other pop-up menus will appear. Click on the shape you wish to use.
  3. The mouse tool will change to cross hairs. (+) Position the cross hairs where you want the shape to be placed.  (Usually we start with a shape from Basic Shapes) example:


(Use arrows in Auto Shapes to connect the shapes to sub ideas)

  1. Drag the mouse to create the shape on the document.
  2. The shape contains handles that are represented by squares on the corners and sides. The shapes also include yellow diamond shapes that can be used to manipulate the shape.
  3. Move the shape around the page by placing the mouse in the middle of the shape and clicking and dragging with the mouse to the desired location.
  4. Position the required shapes on the document. Example: Sequencing Chart














  1. To add the text to the shapes, click the Text Box Button on the Drawing Tool Bar.







  1. Position the mouse on the inside of the shape you wish to type in. Draw the Text Box within the shape using the mouse. Type in the contents. The Text Box also has handles to manipulate its size and shape. To make it easier to adjust Text Boxes or AutoShapes, push down the Alt Key while manipulating the mouse on the shape handles.
  2. Click on the outside of the shape to see how the text looks inside the shape.  If part of the shape is missing after adding the text, it means that the Text Box is covering it.
    1. Think of each shape and Text Box as having a white background. It is part of the white background that is covering the shape behind it.
    2. To make the Text Box transparent (clear), select the Text Box with the mouse so that you can see the outline and the handles of the Text Box.
    3. Select the Fill Color Tool (paint can) on the Drawing Tool Bar. Select “No Fill”.
    4. Select the Line Color Tool and select “No Line”.





  1. Select the shapes by clicking once with the mouse, and then use the Fill Color Tool and Line Color Tool to change the color.
  2. Use the Line and Arrow Tools from the Drawing Tool Bar to connect the AutoShapes.  The Drawing Tool Bar also contains tools to create different colors, patterns and thickness of the arrows and lines.








  1. Here are some examples of the Graphic Organizers that can be created:
    1. Story Maps




















    1. Venn Diagrams with WordArt




















    1. Character Webs




















    1. Retelling Chart





















    1. Cause and Effect Diagrams