The purpose of the Frayer Model (Frayer, 1969; Buehl, 2001) is to identify and define unfamiliar concepts and vocabulary. Students define a concept/word/term, describe its essential characteristics, provide examples of the idea and suggest non examples of the idea (knowing what a concept isn’t helps define what it is). This information is placed on a chart that is divided into four sections to provide a visual representation for students. The model prompts students to understand words within the larger context of a reading selection, as it asks students to analyze the concept/word (definition and characteristics) and then synthesize or apply this information by thinking of examples and nonexamples. It also activates prior knowledge of a topic and builds connections.
Research indicates that students who use graphic organizers to organize their ideas improve their comprehension and communication skills (Goeden, 2002 ; National Reading Panel, 2000).