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Abstract

Graphic organizers are a way for teachers to accommodate students with disabilities such as poor memory or emotional disorders. This technique allows organization of thoughts and visual representation of relationships between ideas and facts. Indeed, poor memory affects students’ reflection and retention of information while emotional disorders can cause a lack of focus in the classroom. Accommodations for students with these disabilities is important because students with emotional disorders may experience social isolation, which in turn may negatively affect their levels of academic achievement. Twenty high-achieving doctoral students participated in a teaching experience designed to introduce gifted students with learning disabilities to using de Bono thinking skills to mediate the possible negative effects of the disabilities through an arts-integrated project focused on some of the mysteries of the planet Mars. The results of this practical lesson showed that the students used their previous experiences in most cases to interpret the different photographs presented. Graphic organizers helped them organize their thought processes and the learning experience. Instruction needs to be woven tightly with the use of interactive materials and graphic organizers.

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