Being able to read words is one thing, but actually understanding what you’re reading is another thing altogether. Reading comprehension enables students to succeed in other subjects and makes reading more enjoyable too. There are so many factors involved in developing reading comprehension. These anchor charts for reading will help your students tackle characters, plot, setting, vocabulary, close reading, and so much more.

1. Questions to Ask While Reading

Questions to Ask While Reading anchor chart

Questions like these help students think about the purpose of reading itself. They also encourage kids to consider important basics, like setting and characters.

Learn more: Babbling Abby

2. Story Elements

Story elements anchor chart with puzzle pieces that make up a story (Anchor Charts for Reading)

Going over the key components that make up a story will make your students better readers. They’ll know exactly what to look out for, and searching for these pieces will make reading seem like a fun scavenger hunt.

Learn more: Story Elements/Teaching With a Mountain View

3. Read, Cover, Remember, Retell

Read, Cover, Remember, Retell anchor chart (Anchor Charts for Reading)

Stop students from skimming longer texts with this concept. This way, they’ll break the text into bite-sized chunks and truly understand what they’re reading.

Learn more: Leslie Hatcher/Pinterest

4. Making Predictions

Making Predictions anchor chart with information about what to do before reading, during reading, and after reading

Making predictions is a great way for students to interact with a text. Just introduce them to these three simple steps and watch them succeed!

Learn more: Crayons, Pencils, and Students…Oh My!

5. Beginning, Middle, End

Beginning Middle and End Anchor Chart for reading

Look for growth throughout a story by paying attention to the beginning, middle, and end. Think about where the characters start, what happens to them, and how they’re different at the end.

Learn more: Beginning, Middle, End/Teaching With Terhune

6. Choosing a Just-Right Book

Just Right Books anchor chart (Anchor Charts for Reading)

Comprehension is deeply connected to children’s current reading abilities, and knowing how to choose a just-right book can help them gain confidence in their skills.

Learn more: The Animated Teacher

7. Summary Sentences

Summary Sentences anchor chart

Make sense of more complicated passages by writing summary sentences for each paragraph or section on sticky notes. They’ll be helpful when reviewing for tests or writing a paper.

Learn more: Summary Sentences/Upper Elementary Snapshots

8. Monitoring for Meaning

Self-Monitoring anchor chart for reading comprehension

Self-monitoring is key for success in reading comprehension at all levels. Giving students some questions to ask themselves as they read is a great first step toward understanding.

Learn more: The Curriculum Corner


UNWRAP for reading anchor chart

Use the UNWRAP method to guide students through a thorough reading. This is an especially valuable technique for nonfiction passages.

Learn more: Flipping With Fisher

10. Understanding What Reading Looks Like

What does real reading look like? anchor chart

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

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

11. Literary Elements

Literary Elements anchor chart with characters, setting, plot, and events

This is like combining four anchor charts for reading comprehension into one! It’s the kind of chart that kids can refer to over and over.

Learn more: The Creative Apple Teaching

12. How to Mark a Text

We Mark the Text anchor chart (Anchor Charts for Reading)

Use an anchor chart and strategy like this one to teach your students how to properly mark up texts. Afterward, have a group discussion and ask students to utilize the sections they emphasized in their texts to support their individual points.

Learn more: Terra Shiffer/Pinterest

13. Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect anchor chart for reading

Considering cause and effect is an excellent way to improve reading comprehension. Learn to watch for words like “because” and “so” with this anchor chart.

Learn more: Cause and Effect/ELA Anchor Charts

14. Decoding Tricky Words

Reading Strategies anchor chart

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

Learn more: Tejeda’s Tots

15. Coding Thoughts

Coding Our Thoughts while reading anchor chart

Shortcut symbols allow students to annotate texts without slowing down or interrupting the reading flow. Be sure to teach them how and when to use each symbol as they read.

Learn more: One Stop Teacher Shop

16. Using Context Clues

Using Context Clues for tricky words anchor chart (Anchor Charts for reading)

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

Learn more: Context Clues/Crafting Connections

17. Types of Conflict

Types of Character Conflict anchor chart

Dig deeper into characters by understanding the conflict they face during the story. Remind students that more than one of these often applies.

Learn more: Types of Conflict/Crafting Connections

18. Nonfiction Text Features

Non-Fiction Text Features anchor chart

If you’re doing a nonfiction unit, consider creating an anchor chart as a guide. It can be difficult for some students to understand the differences between fiction and nonfiction, but a chart like this one will immediately orient them within a text.

Learn more: Second Grade Style

19. Visualizing As You Read

Visualize anchor chart for reading

Visualizing is an important part of achieving reading comprehension. Get kids to see the “movie in their minds” as they read.

Learn more: The No-Prep Teacher/Pinterest

20. Figurative Language

Figurative Language anchor chart for reading

Figurative language can be challenging to teach. Make it easier with this anchor chart and a few pieces of text to act as examples. Then, set your students free and see how many elements of figurative language they can find in their individually chosen books.

Learn more: Angela A-W/Pinterest

21. Building Fluency

What Does a Fluent Reader Look Like? anchor chart

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

Learn more: Amy Lemons

22. Overcome Distractions

Ever get distracted while reading? anchor chart (Anchor Charts for Reading)

Even the best readers sometimes have trouble focusing on their books! Make your students more effective readers by going over how to overcome wandering thoughts.

Learn more: Andrea Knight

23. Retelling the Story

The Retelling Hand anchor chart for reading comprehension

Retelling or summarizing is an important check on comprehension—can the student identify the main events and characters of the story? This anchor chart gives a hand in explaining the concept.

Learn more: @theteacherwiththeowltattoo

24. Find the Main Idea

Main Idea anchor chart with pizza theme

Understanding the main idea, or identifying what the text is mostly about, even if it’s not explicitly stated, is one of the first higher-level tasks of comprehension.

Learn more: Teaching Down by the Bay/Pinterest

25. Understanding Character

Look at a Character anchor chart (Anchor charts for reading)

Ask students to distinguish between what’s on a character’s outside versus a character’s inside to help them understand the text.

Learn more: The Teacher Next Door

26. Setting

Setting anchor chart mapping out place, time, and environment

A story’s setting is made up of more than just where it takes place. Help your students fully grasp everything the concept encompasses with a fun and simple visual.

Learn more: Terri’s Teaching Treasures

27. Point of View

Point of View anchor chart

Understanding point of view in a story can be challenging for beginning readers. This chart will help them pick it up and then implement it in their own writing, too.

Learn more: The Art of Learning

28. Theme vs. Main Idea

Theme vs Main Idea Anchor Chart (Anchor charts for reading)

It’s so easy for young readers to confuse the theme of a text with its main idea, which is why comparing the two concepts side by side is sure to set your students up for success.

Learn more: @mrs.smithin5th

29. Thin and Thick Questions

Thick and Thin Questions anchor charts (Anchor Charts for Reading)

Teach your students the difference between basic yes-or-no (thin) questions and more involved (thick) questions. When students can answer harder questions about the story, their level of understanding will go through the roof.

Learn more: Life in First Grade

30. Making Connections

Making Connections when you read anchor chart

You can be sure kids comprehend what they read when they can start connecting it to themselves and to the world around them.

Learn more: growing_brilliance

31. Reading Conference Guidelines

Reading Conference guidelines anchor chart

Implementing one-on-one student-teacher conferences during individual reading time can be really helpful for students, especially when you set expectations and guidelines ahead of time. This will give your students time to think about what they will focus on during their time with you and how it will help them become better readers.

Learn more: @craftofteaching

32. Plot Structure

Plot Diagram anchor chart with rising action, climax, and falling action (Anchor Charts for Reading)

This basic plot anchor chart can help students understand the rising action, climax, and falling action that makes up a plot.

Learn more: Mrs. Renz’ Class

33. Making Inferences

How Do I Infer? Anchor Chart

To make an inference, students have to differentiate between what’s being said on the page and what’s not. This anchor chart does a great job of explaining.

Learn more: Book Units Teacher

34. Writing a Book Review

A Good Book Review anchor chart (Anchor Charts for Reading)

The key to writing a successful book review is being aware of what to focus on during the reading stage. If you plan on having your students write a review, go over what they should take notes on or pay close attention to while they are reading with an easy anchor chart like this one.

Learn more: @youngteachmd

35. Inference Thinking Stems

Inferring anchor chart with thinking stems like I predict...

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

Learn more: True Life: I’m a Teacher

36. Evidence-Based Reading

Evidence-Based Terms anchor chart

Students show they understand what they are reading by pointing to evidence within the reading. These words are the key to find those bits of evidence.

Learn more: Evidence-Based Terms/ELA Anchor Charts

37. Elements of Poetry

Elements of Poetry anchor chart (Anchor Charts for Reading)

Poetry is tricky and reads a lot differently than most other texts students tend to gravitate toward. Nevertheless, it’s an important art form to explore in the classroom—so why not use a pretty anchor chart as a primer? We guarantee it will take the fear out of reading poetry.

Learn more: Elements of Poetry/Teaching With a Mountain View

38. Author’s Purpose

Author's Purpose anchor chart using PIE (Persuade, Inform, Entertain)

Why did the author write this book? Was it to persuade, inform, or entertain? The author’s purpose may dictate how students read an article or story, and this chart helps students identify it.

Learn more: Brittany McThenia Stein/Pinterest

39. Questions and Answers

Reading Anchor Charts: Finding answers to questions

If your class is struggling with how to find answers to questions while reading, this anchor chart might just help them.

Learn more: @teachingandsofourth

40. Themes in Literature

Reading Anchor Charts

Another great way to teach theme. Books are like a cream-filled cupcake. You never know what’s hiding inside!

Learn more: Upper Elementary Snapshots

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40 Anchor Charts That Nail Reading Comprehension