40 Must-Have Anchor Charts for Teaching Writing of All Kinds
When it comes to writing, many kids struggle to get their ideas down on paper. That’s why we’ve rounded up all the best writing anchor charts, to help your students master narrative, transitions, punctuation, editing, theme, and so much more! Try some of these ideas in your classroom to give your kids the writing support they need.
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 of a memoir.”
Source: Cara Carroll
2. Expanding Sentences
Show students how a simple sentence can become a real powerhouse by exploring when, where, how, and why, along with adding adjectives. So powerful!
Source: Upper Elementary Snapshots/Expanding Sentences
3. Personal Narrative
Personal narrative is a style that all students practice in elementary school, and writing anchor charts can help keep them on track. Visit the link below for great worksheets to use with your students to prepare them to write their personal narratives.
Source: Rachel’s Reflections
4. Hook Your Reader
Want to know how to draw the reader in and make them eager to continue? You need a hook! Teach students how to grab a reader’s attention from the get-go, pulling them in with facts, questions, or even sound effects.
Source: Little Minds at Work
5. Point of View
Learn the differences between first person (I), second person (you), and third person (narrator), and talk about when each type is effective.
Source: Oh Boy … It’s Farley!
6. Organized Paragraph
Use a stoplight 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. See a video of this chart in action here.
7. Practicing Transitions
There are more stoplight writing anchor charts, and this one is perfect for helping students learn and practice their transition words. Draw the stoplight first and invite students to help come up with different words. Then encourage students to put the transition words into practice.
Source: A Happy, Hungry, Healthy Girl
8. Author’s Perspective
Sometimes, an author’s opinion comes out strongly in their writing, even if they don’t state it up front. Use this chart to help students find the clues to an author’s perspective.
Source: Crafting Connections/Author’s Perspective
9. Author’s Purpose Pie
This is a quick and easy anchor chart to help students see different types of writing. It’ll also help them do a quick check to make sure their writing aligns.
Source: Literacy Ideas
10. Dig Deeper
Keep going! Sometimes it’s hard to express what you mean by certain writing and revision requests, and writing anchor charts can show exactly what you mean. Now students can get a good look at what it means to dig deeper.
11. Alternatives to “Said”
If your students are learning about writing dialogue, an anchor chart like this could really come in handy. Encourage students to try other ways to have their characters respond.
Source: ESL Amplified
12. Understanding Character
Before you can write 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
13. Diving Deeper Into Character
Now that your students understand the difference between inside and outside characteristics, dive deeper into describing a specific character. This anchor chart is a wonderful idea because students can write their idea(s) on a sticky note and then add it.
Source: Crafting Connections/Teach and Task Lessons
14. Six Traits of Writing
This anchor chart is jam-packed with things to help fourth- and fifth-grade writers remember the six traits of writing. Use the chart as a whole-class reference or laminate it to use in small groups. 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 4 the Classroom
15. Writing Realistic Fiction
This anchor chart reminds upper elementary students how to create realistic stories. It really walks your students through the process, so they have all the elements they need to create their own stories.
Source: Two Writing Teachers/Realistic Fiction
16. 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
17. Informational Text Structures
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/Informational Text Structures
18. OREO Opinion Writing
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. See a video featuring this chart here.
19. Features of a Great Report
Use examples of outstanding student work to make this anchor chart. Keep it 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
20. Write From the Heart
Sometimes the hardest part about writing is coming up with whom 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 via Cara Carroll
21. Argument Writing
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
22. Writing Process
This is an anchor chart you’ll direct 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: What’s Skow-ing On in Fourth Grade?
23. Writing Checklist
For those young writers in your class, these cover the basics in a clear way.
Source: Kindergarten Chaos
24. RACE for Writing
Use the RACE mnemonic when your students are working on persuasive writing. It reminds them to cite their sources and be sure to answer the question being asked.
25. 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!
Source: 2nd Grade Superheroes
26. A Strong Lead
This upper-grade anchor chart gives students lots of ways to start their writing. Update it 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, seeing if they’ve developed a signature lead.
Source: Miss Klohn’s Classroom
27. Crafting Power 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
28. 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 narrative nonfiction works. Build out this chart for middle school writers with additional ideas and more complex emotions.
Source: Upper Elementary Snapshots/Show, Don’t Tell
29. 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
30. Expository Writing
This chart makes it easy for students to remember key concepts, both with color-coding and simple metaphors. Give them colored pencils and ask them to underline the corresponding sections in their essays.
Source: Adventures of a Future Teacher
31. Peer Editing
Peer editing teaches kids a variety of skills, and not just with writing. They learn to read closely, offer (and accept) useful constructive feedback, and get more comfortable sharing their writing with others. This chart helps kids through the sometimes-challenging process.
32. 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
33. Internal Story
This chart gives students the language to add their own thoughts to 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
34. 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
35. Publishing Guidelines
Kids are often quick to turn in their papers without making sure they’ve included all the necessary requirements (like their names!). Use this chart to remind them about the important things to check for before they hand in their work.
Source: Juice Boxes and Crayolas
36. Figurative Language
As you teach your students about figurative language and how to use it, you’ll want to have examples. This anchor chart dives into five different concepts. Each of these could actually be its own anchor chart. Perhaps have your students come up with examples on sticky notes and then place them on the chart.
Source: Willow Grove Elementary School
37. Forms of Poetry
Introducing poetry types to your students? This anchor chart covers the basics and helps kids remember that not all poetry needs to rhyme.
Source: ELA Anchor Charts
38. CUPS and ARMS
This is a popular method for teaching kids to revise and edit as well as the difference between the two. Simple acronyms keep the key strategies close at hand.
Source: Amy Lemons
39. Spicy Edits
Encourage your students to think of their writing like a recipe, which they can always tweak and improve. Have them choose one element, or “spice,” to add to their work as they revise.
Source: Beyond Zebra/Pinterest
40. Writing Buddies
Sometimes students can get stuck when working with writing buddies, but writing anchor charts can help. This one encourages students to be positive and make good, thoughtful suggestions.
Source: Apostrophe Books Twitter
What are your favorite writing anchor charts? Share your ideas in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
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