Above is an example of an unorganized cluster that I drew for either a Incan, Myan or Aztec cultural unit. In order for students to develop this graph, they must first select a topic. In art class this topic could be about an art movement, an artist, a particular culture or even a collection at a museum. After labeling the topic in the center of the graph, students then draw “rays” and write attributes they associate with their topic on or below the lines representing the design elements of a sun or the web-like structure of a spider web.
Below, I’ve included a sample of an organized cluster. Organized clusters include more topics and subcategories. Both types of clusters may be used by art students to brainstorm about how they will design a project, assess the information they have viewed in a Power Point, film or heard in a lecture. Clusters are also excellent tools to use with students learning a new language. With a combination of pictures and words students can remember unfamiliar vocabulary or record words they need to know for tests or papers.
Clusters may be also used in small group discussions or may be used by the teacher while having a large group discussion. Teachers may call on students to give ideas about a topic and then write these on a cluster organizer posted on the board at the front of the classroom as the students vocalize their opinions and/or correct answers.