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Uses of the Frayer Model

The Frayer Model is useful for any child that benefits from a visual when learning new content. While any student can utilize this model, graphic organizers help support students like English Language Learners who may benefit from explicit examples and images to help them learn new English words. In addition, students with a limited vocabulary, lower reading skills, or special needs can also benefit from the visuals provided by the Frayer Model. Students can learn content-specific terminology to help them master lesson activities and complex vocabulary within your classroom.

Frayer Model Template Example

The applications of the Frayer Model span content areas and are not only applicable to the English Language Arts classroom.

In math class, you can utilize Frayer Model not only for definitions “a triangle is…” but for equations like “the area of a triangle is….”

You can utilize the Frayer Model for important historical moments or dates in history class. For example, describing the civil war using a Frayer Model lets you identify key points and allows you to contrast the civil war with other wars in the “non-example” space.

In science class, you can utilize the Frayer Model not only for definitions like “what is mitosis?” but also for biological systems and cycles. For example, “The water cycle” can help students visualize what it looks like, provide an example, and explain what the water cycle is NOT.


How to Implement the Frayer Model

The Frayer Model is useful for students that must learn the critical vocabulary necessary for academic success in their content area classroom. You would not use the Frayer Model to define common words like “pool” or “house”- unless you are working with English Language Learners that need support learning common words. In other classroom settings, however, you should choose vocabulary words, concepts, or topics that require a deep understanding to fully engage in the course content. Plan for a vocabulary notebook, binder, or notecard container for students to store their Frayer Models- they can draw their own into a notebook, or you can provide printouts to students to work on and then store. Keeping their completed Frayer Models will allow students to quickly review and practice their concepts in the future, deepening their understanding.

After selecting the essential terms, concepts, or vocabulary for your upcoming lesson, you can model to students how to complete the document as students work independently. Depending on your lesson focus, you may also choose to allow students to work in pairs or groups. Ask students to share ideas with their group members or the whole class, encouraging discourse and expanding individual ideas.

As students utilize the Frayer Model more frequently, you can have them utilize their completed documents as a reference guide. Require students to review key vocabulary each week as part of a regular study routine to familiarize themselves with the words or concepts. Later you can pair their studying with a notecard system to help reinforce strong study habits and require them to practice their content before an assessment.


Plan your upcoming lesson and select some vocabulary words that students would benefit from learning more about. Plan time to introduce the Frayer Model Graphic Organizer, and plan how students will store the information into a binder, set of notecards, or notebook.

If you want to see a sample of what a completed Frayer Model Organizer looks like, download the resources below for a blank template and example. The example will also include some modifications to the template to help provide you with ideas for use in the classroom.

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