40 Greatest Anchor Charts For Studying Comprehension

Knowing how to read words is one thing, but actually understanding what you read is another thing entirely. Reading comprehension enables students to be successful in other subjects and also makes reading more enjoyable. There are so many factors that go into developing reading comprehension. These anchor charts for reading will help your students navigate characters, storyline, setting, vocabulary, close reading, and more.

1. Questions while reading

Questions like these help students reflect on the purpose of reading for themselves. They also encourage kids to consider important fundamentals like attitudes and characters.

Learn more: Chatter Abby

2. Story elements

Going through the key components of a story will make your students better readers. They know exactly what to look for, and finding these pieces makes reading a fun scavenger hunt.

Learn More: Story Elements / Teaching With Mountain Views

3. Read, cover, remember, retell

Use this concept to prevent students from skimming long texts. That way, they’ll break the text into bite-sized pieces and really understand what they’re reading.

Learn more: Leslie Hatcher / Pinterest

4. Make predictions

Making predictions is a great way for students to interact with text. Just introduce them to these three easy steps and see how they succeed!

Learn more: crayons, pencils and pupils … oh my god!

5. Beginning, middle, end

Look for growth during a story by paying attention to the beginning, middle, and end. Think about where the characters start, what happens to them, and how they end up being different.

Learn more: beginning, middle, ending / teaching with Terhune

6. Choosing exactly the right book

Understanding is closely tied to children’s current reading skills, and knowing how to choose exactly the right book can help them gain confidence in their skills.

Learn more: The Animated Teacher

7. Summary sentences

Make sense of more complicated passages by writing summary sentences on sticky notes for each paragraph or section. They will be helpful when you are doing tests or writing a paper.

Learn more: Summary Sentences / Upper Elementary Snapshots

8. Monitoring for importance

Self-control is the key to success in reading comprehension at all levels. Asking students a few questions to ask themselves while reading is a good first step in understanding.

Learn more: The Curriculum Corner


Use the UNWRAP method to guide students through a thorough reading. This is a particularly valuable technique for text passages.

Learn More: Flipping With Fisher

10. Understand what reading looks like

Setting expectations about what reading really looks like can help lay the groundwork for understanding, as illustrated in this reading anchor table.

Learn more: Real vs. Fake Reading / Teaching with Terhune

11. Literary elements

It’s like combining four reading comprehension anchor charts into one! It’s the type of diagram that kids can refer to over and over again.

Learn more: The Apple Creative Teaching

12. This is how you highlight a piece of text

Use an anchor diagram and strategy like this to teach your students how to properly mark up text. Then, have a group discussion and ask students to use the passages they highlighted in their texts to support their individual points.

Learn more: Terra Shiffer / Pinterest

13. Cause and Effect

Weighing cause and effect is a great way to improve reading comprehension. Use this anchor diagram to learn to look out for words like “because” and “so”.

Learn more: Cause and Effect / ELA Anchor Diagrams

14. Decipher tricky words

Decoding strategies help students step back from a frustrating word or phrase and look at it from a different angle. Especially if they’re just starting out, your class (and their parents) will appreciate having access to these tips.

Learn more: Tejedas Tots

15. Coding thoughts

Shortcut symbols enable students to comment on text without slowing down or interrupting the flow of reading. As you read, be sure to teach them how and when to use each symbol.

Learn more: One-Stop Teacher Shop

16. Use contextual notes

This anchor table for reading helps students use context cues such as synonyms and parts of words to become “word detectives” when they stumble upon a word they don’t know.

Learn more: Context Notes / Establishing Connections

17. Types of Conflicts

Dive deeper into the characters by understanding the conflict they face throughout the story. Remind students that often more than one of these will apply.

Learn more: Types of Conflicts / Making Connections

18. Factual functions

Whenever you are doing a nonfiction unit, make an anchor diagram as a guide. For some students it can be difficult to understand the differences between fiction and nonfiction, but a diagram like this will get them oriented right away within a text.

Learn More: Second Grade Style

19. Visualize while reading

Visualizing is an important part of reading comprehension. Encourage children to watch the “movie in their heads” while reading.

Learn more: The No-Prep Teacher / Pinterest

20. Imagery

Visual language can be difficult to teach. Make it easier for yourself with this anchor diagram and some texts as an example. Then, release your students and see how many elements of imagery they can find in their individually selected books.

Learn more: Angela AW / Pinterest

21. Build fluency

Fluency is another important part of reading comprehension. When students are robotic in their reading expression and pace, they have difficulty understanding the meaning.

Learn more: Amy Lemons

22. Overcome distractions

Even the best readers can have trouble focusing on their books at times! Make your students more effective readers by discussing how to overcome wandering thoughts.

Learn more: Andrea Ritter

23. Retelling the story

Retelling or summarizing is an important check of understanding – can the student identify the main events and characters of the story? This anchor diagram will help explain the concept.

Learn more: @theteacherwiththeowltattoo

24. Find the main idea

Understanding the main idea or realizing what the text is mainly about, even if it is not explicitly stated, is one of the first overarching tasks of understanding.

Learn more: Teach Down by the Bay / Pinterest

25. Understand character

In order to understand the text, ask students to distinguish between the outside of a character and the inside of a character.

Find out more: The teacher next door

26. Hiring

The setting of a story consists of more than just the place where it takes place. Help your students fully understand all that the concept involves with fun and simple graphic.

Find out more: Terri’s doctrines

27. Point of view

Understanding the point of view in a story can be a challenge for novice readers. This diagram will help you absorb it and then apply it to your own writing as well.

Learn more: The Art of Learning

28. Topic vs. main idea

It is so easy for young readers to confuse the subject of a text with its main idea, which is why comparing the two concepts side by side is sure to get your students started.

Learn more: @ mrs.smithin5th

29. Thin and fat questions

Teach your students the difference between simple yes-or-no questions (thin) and more complicated (thick) questions. If students can answer tougher questions about the story, their understanding will go through the roof.

Find out more: Living in First Class

30. Make connections

You can be sure that children will understand what they are reading when they can begin to relate to themselves and the world around them.

Learn more: growing_brilliance

31. Read conference guidelines

Conducting individual student-teacher conferences during individual reading time can be very helpful for students, especially if you set expectations and guidelines in advance. This will give your students time to think about what they will be focusing on during their time with you and how it will help them become better readers.

Learn more: @craftofteaching

32. Plot structure

This basic plot anchor diagram can help students understand the rising action, climax, and falling action that make up an action.

Find out more: Ms. Renz’s class

33. Draw conclusions

In order to reach a conclusion, students need to distinguish between what is said on the page and what is not. This anchor diagram is a great explanation.

Learn more: Book Unit Teacher

34. Write a book review

The key to writing a successful book review is to be aware of what to focus on during the reading phase. If you are planning on having your students write a review, use a simple anchor diagram like this to go over what to note or pay close attention to as they read.

Learn more: @youngteachmd

35. Inference-thinking tribes

Reading is an active endeavor; Reader predictions are often based on what they already know. These thinking stems can help students put their ideas about stories into words.

Learn more: Real Life: I am a teacher

36. Evidence-based reading

Students demonstrate that they understand what they are reading by pointing to evidence in the reading. These words are the key to finding this piece of evidence.

Learn more: Evidence-Based Terms / ELA Anchor Diagrams

37. Elements of poetry

Poetry is tricky and reads very differently than most of the other texts that students tend to read. Nonetheless, it’s an important art form to explore in the classroom – so why not use a cute anchor diagram as an introduction? We guarantee it will take away the fear of reading poetry.

Find out more: Elements of poetry / teaching with a mountain view

38. Purpose of the author

Why did the author write this book? Did you want to convince, inform or entertain? The author’s purpose may determine how students will read an article or story, and this table will help students identify them.

Learn more: Brittany McThenia Stein / Pinterest

39. Questions and Answers

If your class is having trouble finding answers to questions while reading, this anchor table can help them.

Learn more: @teachingandsofourth

40. Topics in literature

Another great way to teach subject. Books are like a cupcake filled with cream. You never know what’s hidden in it!

Learn more: High School Snapshots

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