I don’t know about you, but I love using graphic organizers. I’m a visual learner, so maybe that’s why. But anyway, this anchor chart I saw in an elementary school classroom seemed to be an effective way to study animals (spiders, in this case). It focuses on characteristics, sorted according to 3 verbs: are, can and have. It’s a very basic idea, but works well because students can just finish the sentence “Spiders have…” or “Spiders can…” to help them sort out and analyze characteristics. This same idea could be used for a variety of topics, simply by changing the 3 verbs used.