Anchor charts are a great way to make thinking visible as you record strategies, processes, cues, guidelines and other content during the learning process. Here are 25 of our favorite anchor charts for teaching writing.
1. Why Writers Write
First and second graders will draw inspiration from this fun-filled anchor chart about why we write. Make this chart applicable to older students by expanding on each aspect with a specific audience or goal. “To share experiences” can become “to share experiences with friends, in a postcard or with readers in a memoir.”
Source: The First Grade Parade
2. Personal Narrative
Personal narrative is a style that all students will practice in elementary school. This website has some great worksheets to use with your students to prepare them to write their personal narrative. Then all your students can reference this anchor chart to keep them on task.
Source: Rachel’s Reflections
3. Understanding Character
Before you can writer about character, you first have to understand it. This anchor chart will help your young writers understand the difference between inside and outside characteristics.
Source: Teacher Trap
4. Diving Deeper into Character
Now that your students understand inside vs. outside characteristics, dive deeper into describing a specific character. This anchor chart is a wonderful idea because students can write their idea on a sticky and then add it.
Source: MPM Ideas
5. Six Traits of Writing
This anchor chart is jam-packed with things for fourth- and fifth-grade writers to remember about the six traits of writing. Use the chart as a whole-class reference, or laminate it to use with a small group. When it’s laminated, students can check off each aspect they’ve included in their own writing. Meaningful dialogue? Check! Problem and solution? Check!
Source: Working for the Classroom
6. Writing Realistic Fiction
This anchor chart reminds upper elementary students how to create realistic stories. It really walks your students through so they have all the elements they need to create their own story.
Source: Two Writing Teachers
7. Sequence of Events
Help early-elementary students stay organized with an anchor chart that’s focused on order-of-events language. Tactile learners can write their first drafts on sentence strips and use this format to put the events in order before they transcribe their work onto writing paper.
Source: Life in First Grade
8. Informational Writing
Focus upper elementary students on the most important aspects of informational writing while keeping them organized. This chart could be used to support paragraph writing or essays.
Source: Teaching with a Mountain View
9. OREO Opinions
This deliciously inspired opinion anchor chart can be used by students in grades 3–5 during writers workshop, or when developing an opinion for discussion or debate. To build out student writing, have them “double-stuff” their Oreos with extra “E” examples.
10. Student Reporters
This anchor chart, best for K–2, is made relevant with examples of student work, in this case a fantastic ladybug report. Keep this chart relevant by updating the examples with student work throughout the year. In kindergarten, this will also showcase how students move from prewriting and pictures to writing words and sentences.
Source: Joyful Learning in KC
11. Write from the Heart
Sometimes the hardest part about writing is coming up with who and what you should write about. This is the fun part, though! Use this anchor chart to remind your students that they have lots of good writing options.
Source: First Grade Parade
12. Get Argumentative
Use this anchor chart with middle schoolers to make sure they’re considering all sides of an argument, not just the one that matters the most to them. One way to adapt this chart as students develop their understanding of argument is to write each element—claim, argument, evidence—under a flap that students can lift if they need a reminder.
Source: Literacy & Math Ideas
13. Writing Process
This is an anchor charts you’ll likely directly your students to again and again. The writing process has several steps, and it’s good to remind students of this so they don’t get frustrated.
Source: Mrs. Skowronski
14. Writing Checklist
For those young writers in your class, these covers the basics in an easy way.
Source: Kindergarten Chaos
15. Cause and Effect
Cause and Effect will always be an essential part of any story. Help your students come up with different scenarios for cause and effect. In many instances you could have multiples effects, so challenge your students to identify three to four at a time. This will really give them something to write about!
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Source: Mrs. Sandburg
16. Organized Paragraph
The stoplight visual can be used to help early elementary students understand and write clear paragraphs. As students are editing their work, have them read with green, yellow and red pencils in hand so they can see how their paragraphs are hooking and engaging readers.
SOURCE: Mandy’s Tips for Teachers
17. A Strong Lead
This sixth-grade anchor chart gives students lots of ways to start their writing. It could be updated midyear with strong examples of leads that students have written or that they’ve found in books. Students could also copy this chart into their notebooks and keep track of the different ways they’ve started their own writing, to see if they develop a signature lead.
Source: Miss Klohn’s Classroom
18. Power Up Student Sentences
Inspire students to get crafty and creative with their sentences. Update the moods or keywords with every writing assignment so students are constantly refining their clauses, verbs, and descriptions.
Source: Teaching My Friends
19. Show, Don’t Tell
“Show, don’t tell” is a cardinal rule of writing. This anchor chart, best for upper elementary writers, can be used to strengthen scenes in fiction and narrat
ive nonfiction works. Build this chart out for middle school writers with additional ideas and more complex emotions.
Source: Upper Elementary Snapshots
20. Narrative Organizer
Leave this chart up in your classroom for your students to reference often when they’re writing. It really takes them through creating a successful story.
Source: Working 4 the Classroom
21. Expository Writing
This anchor chart really brings together the elements of a story in a creative, color-coded way.
Source: Adventures of a Future Teacher
22. Strong Sentences
Get early-elementary students to write longer, more descriptive sentences with this chart. Bonus: Use sentence strips to switch out the examples of strong sentences based on student writing.
Source: The Good Life
23. The Internal Story
This second-grade chart gives students the language to add their own thoughts into their writing. Modify this chart by highlighting key phrases for students with special needs. Or have students create different thought-bubble icons to represent each internal-dialogue sentence starter.
Source: Totally Terrific in Texas
24. Evidence Supported
Upper elementary students will benefit from reminders on how to refer to and cite text evidence. Use this anchor chart during writing and discussion to help connect the language that we use across domains.
Source: History Tech
25. CUPS and ARMS
Pick your acronym when revising and editing. These charts are great for third, fourth and fifth graders. Older students can get more targeted with editing marks.
26. Spicy Edits
Have students choose one element or “spice” to add to their work as they revise. This chart works for students in elementary and middle school, depending on which elements they include.
Source: Ms. Liu
27. Writing Buddies
Sometimes students can get stuck when working with writing buddies. This anchor chart will help, encouraging students to be positive and make good, thoughtful suggestions.
28. Publishing Guidelines
Third and fourth graders can easily see if they’re finished writing with this publishing checklist. Consider making an anchor chart that shows how students can determine if their digital writing is ready to publish (or print) as well.
Source: Juice Boxes and Crayolas
Posting anchor charts keeps current learning accessible and helps your students to make connections as their understanding grows. Keep the charts up-to-date and they’ll serve as a living reference in your classroom and will inspire a culture of writing.
Standards in this strand:
Text Types and Purposes:
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
Establish and maintain a formal style.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.
Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
Production and Distribution of Writing:
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 6 here.)
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics").
Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., "Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not").
Range of Writing:
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.