Venn Diagrams are one of the most commonly used graphic organizers. They visually represent the relationship between two items in two (or three or more) intersecting circles. Venn Diagrams are often used in assessment to measure a students ability to show the learning objective “SWBAT compare and contrast.” They are also great tools for reading and taking notes.
The Definition of Venn Diagrams from The Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning:
Venn Diagram: This is the most popular way to compare two topics. Two intersecting circles are labeled according to the two topics. Students list the similarities in the middle inside the intersection of the two circles and the differences in parts of the circles that do not intersect.
And Triple Venn Diagrams:
Triple Venn Diagram: Similar to a Venn Diagram, which compares two topics, a Triple Venn Diagram compares three topics with similarities between all three topics in the middle of all three circles and similarities between two topics in the intersection between two circles. Differences go in the part of each circle that is separate from the others.
Free Venn Diagram Printables:
(Click for more graphic organizers)
How to Create a Venn Diagram
The easiest way to create a Venn Diagram is to have the students create one themselves. Just have them draw two large intersecting circles on a blank sheet of paper.
Students tend to draw these circles too small, so remind them to use the entire sheet of paper for the circles.
Creating Blank Venn Diagrams in Word and PowerPoint
You can also create Venn Diagrams in Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint. You can either use the SmartArt that comes with the programs or create the Venn Diagram yourself.
Here is a short video tutorial on how to make Venn Diagram circles in Microsoft Office:
(Click here to watch “How to Create a Venn Diagram in Word and PowerPoint” video in YouTube)
The key steps in creating these Venn Diagrams in PowerPoint and Word is to make two important changes:
1) Add a black outline
2) Adjust the Shape Fill to “no fill”
In PowerPoint, you can right click on the circles and “Save as Picture…” to use them in other ways.
Venn Diagrams should be staples in every classroom. These graphic organizers encourage critical thinking, challenging students to compare and contrast. They are easy to make and powerful to use.