Monday, November 10, 2014

Using Padlet to Introduce the RAN Graphic Organizer

We are starting a new Inquiry Unit on Animals and we are in the  "Immersion phase" of the inquiry circle.  Which means, I am inviting curiosity, teaching background knowledge, and inviting students to wonder about different animals.

One of the things that I want my students to include in their Inquiry learning is what their animals habitat is.  I also wanted to introduce them to a new graphic organizer called the RAN strategy, which stands for Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction.

A RAN chart is a lot like a KWL chart.  However, the students start with prior knowledge then after reading or watching something about the topic they move their sticky to a new column based on if their information was right or if it was a misconception.   The chart also still contains a New learning column as well as a Wonderings column.

I took a screen shot of part of a RAN chart and used it as the background to the padlet wall. See what a padlet wall is here.   I then chirped the url of the padlet to the students iPads and had them fill in what they thought the word habitat meant. See what chirp is here.

We then watched the following habitat video and I had students fill in the the New Learning column.

After we watched the video clip we went back to the What I think I know column and moved those notes to either the Confirmed or the Misconception column.  Here is what our padlet wall looks like now:

If you would like to see the padlet live the link is

Tomorrow I will be giving students a piece of writing on habitats at their reading level.  I will have my students use the RAN strategy using sticky notes and a graphic organizer.

Here is a link to some RAN graphic organizers I found from Marianna Kiva's website if you wanted to try it out in your own class.


  1. Great idea for using the RAN chart. I will have to try this!

  2. Great idea. I have to ask how did you get all entries to stay in their column?

    1. Thanks Matthew, because I am the creator of the padlet, I can move the responses to where they need to be placed. I have the students try to put their responses under the correct heading and then I move them if need be.

  3. Thanks for this! Would you mind of I share this to teachers looking for ideas on how to use Padlet in the classroom? If there's any feature you think we can add to Padlet to improve your experience, let me know!

  4. Kristen,
    Do you have any trouble getting the pictures the correct size to fill up the whole wallpaper?

    1. Hi Jessica,

      I do have problems with sizing. I find, if it's too small or too big I adjust the sizing in my word document then I take a screenshot and upload the screenshot. I hope that helps!

  5. Hi Kristen,
    I love this! I tried taking a screen shot of the RAN chart and uploading it as wallpaper and all I got was a custom wallpaper that is blank. I've tried many times and I've googled how to do it and I'm doing what the app says to do. Any thoughts? Thanks,