Graphic Organizers - Layering

Layering is a new concept in graphic organizers I discovered while using electronic graphic organizer software and working with students. Layering different types of information in a graphic organizer provides new insights. Layering appears to be particularly effective in the sharing of information. The impact of layering is to evoke more associations and relationships. It works much like a graphic program such as Adobe Photoshop, each layer adding a new dimension of information.

Graphic Organizers

In programming, for example, layering is used to separate functional components. These interact in some sequential and hierarchical way and each layer interfaces only with the layer above and below it.

An illustration of layering would be a shopping mall information directory. Consider layer one a list of names of the various shops and the category the shop is in, e.g. The Fountain - Restaurants. Using this information we can generate the name of a shop to purchase prepared food. Add an another layer to the directory, a floor map of the mall. Now a mall visitor can build a shopping route, calculate approximate distances and plan a shopping itinerary to include The Fountain to dine. Add a third layer such as a picture of a product sold in The Fountain. For example add a picture of an ice cream cone next to the shop name, The Fountain. The picture identifies The Fountain is associated with ice cream cones. This, in turn, creates new and more thoughtful insights about The Fountain. A visual picture of what might be sold in The Fountain is created, plus some memories of ice cream are elicited. What would happen if an audio layer was added?