Graphic Organizers:

Branching Diagrams


Figure 1: Basic shape of a branching diagram.

Branching diagrams can have two or more divisions under the main heading, and each division can have a variable number of subdivisions. Hence, a topic in the lower boxes is typically a part of—or otherwise subordinate to—the topic one level above it. Note that the number of branches can and should vary according to the needs of the information being conveyed. Figure 1 shows the shape of a simple branching diagram.

Best Uses

Figure 2: Branching diagram showing organization of U.S. government.

Branching diagrams are good for hierarchies, classifications, org charts, family trees, etc. Whenever you are learning something that can be organized into hierarchical relationships, a branching diagram can be a very useful and succinct way to represent, visualize, and remember the information. For example, when first learning about the U.S. government's structure, learners may be presented with a diagram showing its three main branches: executive, legislative, and judicial (see Figure 2).

Page last modified: September 16 2011.