Flow Chart Skills for Students

Flow ChartOverview:
Organizational skills have got to be high on the list of things our students need improvement in. While flow charts may not seem to be for everyone, they are part of a project management process that is researched and works very well in not only showing the process of a project, but in its best form, also the time needed for completion. Project management pundits keep telling us to spend fully one-fourth of the total time on a project in the planning stage, and driving this point home to students will help to give them a foundation for life of planning and organizing.

Teacher: flow chart examples on transparencies; flow chart example handouts; chart paper for each group; markers for each group. Student: pencil, paper.
Teacher Preparation: Make 2 or 3 simple examples of flow charts on overhead. Handouts of examples could be made.

Procedure Ideas:

1. Talk about importance of getting organized – that it takes time and planning.
2. Explain that one method of strategy is to use a flow chart, and give definition.
3. Show 2 or 3 examples of flow chart using the overhead or handouts.
4. Develop a flow chart together with class. Examples might be discipline procedures, getting ready for school, planning a party or planting a garden.
5. Have students work in teams of 3 or 4 students and have them develop a flow chart for submitting a letter to the editor of the local paper.

Variations/Options: Students can target an area of their school or home life that is causing them problems due to poor planning and create a chart to analyze the situation.