Writer’s Workshop Anchor Charts

I’ve always been a big fan of writing.  I love to see the progress my kids make throughout the year…it’s always so remarkable!!  No matter what stage they’re at when I get them, they always grow.  Even a *little* growth is A LOT!  I was excited to start Writer’s Workshop this week.  Even though I love teaching writing,  I always feel like this is an area where I can improve.  I mapped out this week’s writing plans to a T and so far, we’re off to a great start!
My littles were excited to get their draft books on Monday.  I had some advanced writers, a few reluctant writers, and everything in between.  On Tuesday, we talked about WHY writers write and made an anchor chart with all of our ideas…
writers workshop1
Then we read Click, Clack, Moo and talked about why the animals & farmer in the story wanted to write.
We revisited our anchor chart today and made another.  Today we learned all about WHAT writers write.  I brought in a few examples of things I write…grocery list, to do list, thank you note…and showed them my blog{s} and my email, too!  It was fun to see their little wheels turning realizing there are LOTS of reasons we write…not just to write stories!!!
writers workshop3
After I showed them examples of all of my writing, we made another little anchor chart all about WHAT writers write…
writers workshop2
I’m hanging all of these up in our little “Do you have a writer’s eye?” center area. 
LOVING our Writers Workshop time so far!!! 
Tomorrow we’ll be creating a “What Can Writer’s Write About?” anchor chart and making our maps of our hearts.  I was inspired by these awesome heart maps I found via Pinterest {click on the pic to take you to the original source}.
On Friday, I’ll be passing out their mini offices and we’ll be decorating our draft books and celebrating our first full week of writing!!! 
I’d love to hear about any fun activities you do to kick off writing in your classroom!!
Happy Wednesday!!


  1. What a fun blog post! My class is getting ready to create their heart maps...Love this time of year...when everything is new to our little firsties! Even if I'm exhausted and ready to pass out on my couch by the end of the day! Ha!

  2. I love your anchor charts. They are so cute and kid friendly. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Swimming into Second

  3. This week we are studying pets in 2nd grade and I wanted to light my "littles" love of writing as well!! Tomorrow we are doing a whole group writing activity because my kids are all over the place in abilities. We are stating three reasons why it would be fun to have a dog, using our writing journals for the first time, and then possibly publishing our writing and attaching them to dog bowls!

    Your anchor charts are so cute and I love that you show real life connections!

  4. Your anchor charts are so adorable! I wish I could draw that well...mine would be a hot mess. I love doing heart maps! We actually put our heart maps inside the front of our writers notebooks so they can refer to it all year!
    Rambling About Reading

  5. You are such an amazing artist as well as a teacher! You make your anchor charts so exciting and cute!


  6. @Miss Erin...GREAT idea!!

    @Jess...I'm SO going to "borrow" your idea ;) Definitely putting them on the front of their notebooks! LOVE IT!!

    @Jodi & Courtney...y'all are too dang sweet :) THank you!

    @Gladys...yes...LOVE IT when everything is "new"! The novelty hasn't worn off yet! HA!!

  7. Hey Mrs. Carroll! I teach 4th/5th grade ELL and our district is just starting Writer's Workshop officially this year. I can't wait!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your anchor charts! I also love your examples of what people write--what a great visual. Thanks for all of the inspiration for a Writer's Workshop newcomer! :)

  8. LOVE your ideas and posters!! I'll be making a few more now! THANKS for sharing.


  9. Oh my, I love the anchor charts too! Thank you for sharing! LOVE IT! Can't wait to see the next one :)

    Jenn @ The Kinder Life

  10. LOVE your anchor charts! We started writer's workshop this past week, and it is so different than what we did last year. In a good way!
    I taught my class a gesture for what writers write about.
    "Writers write about what they know about (point to their head) and what they care about (cross their hands over their chest)" It seemed to help when they dove in to first workshop session of writing freedom!

    -Ms. Thomas

    The First Grade Jungle

  11. just posted about WW and then saw your post. You are so talented. I think half the reason I got into teaching was chart paper and markers. :)

  12. Hi Cara! I LOVE your blog and have been quietly following for a while. Do you use a specific curriculum or come up with your own plans? I'm trying to be more focused w/ my writing instruction this year and would love to know how you organize your lessons. THANKS!! :)

  13. Cara, your anchor charts are AMAZING and amazingly perfect! Do you create the art {on the actual charts shown in the pics} as you discuss it with your class, or do you do a rough draft and then create those beautiful masterpieces from your draft?
    Primary Practice

  14. There is a great book called The Map Book it is sooo great to use with a lesson like your doing tomorrow. It gives them pictures of all types of maps! It's a great tool!

    I"m super impressed with your anchor charts! Do you make them that in depth right there in front of them each day?

  15. Oh sweet girls...thank y'all! I DO NOT make my anchor charts that in depth in front of them...that would take FOREVER {and seriously, they can only sit still for about 3 minutes}. SO...I make a "sloppy copy" in front of them {basically a quick sketch}. Then I use a smaller sheet of paper, redraw everything we talked about, laminate, and hang. I like having smaller anchor charts so they "fit" in all my nooks and crannies :)

    @Ms. Thomas...AWESOME idea!!!! I'm using that for sure!!!

    @Kristen...you'll LOVE it!

  16. your handwriting and drawing is beautiful!

  17. Oh my! LOVE all the anchor charts! So stinkin' cute! Wanted to let you know that I featured your Chrysanthemum idea on my blog. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  18. Maybe a random question.....but what type of markers do you use on your final copy charts? I LOVE them!

  19. I LOVE your anchor charts. You've inspired me to try something similar :) Thank you.

    Grade ONEderful

  20. I heart your anchor charts!!! Writing is my weakest area and so I am LOVING all these ideas! Thank you for the inspiration!

  21. thanks so much! going to make brain maps with my fourth graders! fun!

  22. I love your Writers workshop ideas and anchor charts! Your blog is a HUGE source of inspiration to me--I check it often. Thank you!

  23. Wow! Your anchor charts are awesome! You have definitely inspired me to make mine more "kid-friendly". Thank you!

    Sara :)

  24. I love your anchor charts... I hope you don't mind but I love following you and using your things in my classroom. Check out my blog. I've posted about your resources :).



  25. Hi Mrs. Carroll! I love all of your writing ideas and you have totally inspired me to make some cute little anchor charts! You mentioned your Draft Books - how exactly do those work? I just started teaching 1st this year and could defintely use some help in writing!

  26. @Amy Wiltse...I used regular ol' Crayola Markers! HA!! Markers for the title and then crayons for the pics. I outline my pics with a fine tip sharpie :) HOpe that helps!!

    @Mrs. Bonert...our draft books are just basically our writing folders. We write in them EVERYday. As the year progresses, we'll change out the paper to smaller lines because they'll be writing so much more. They write in their draft books AFTER a little minilesson. Sometimes I'll give them direction in their writing...like maybe focusing on writing with lowercase letters, using capitals at the beginning of sentences, etc. It's awesome to see the progress throughout the year!!

  27. I am in love with those charts!!! I just pinned them!

  28. Ms. Carroll- I love your anchor charts and the drawings are SO cute!! Thanks so much for sharing so much with the blog world! I wish I were in your class!

  29. I adore your blog and think your kids would love my "litter box learning" center I put in word work. It's great for the beginning of the year because all the kids can do it!


  30. Sorry to bug you again, but what are the mini offices? That one really has me interested! Thanks for answering my other question - that really helps!

  31. Cara, You are so kind and generous to share your tips and methods as well as your ideas and printables. Thank you so much for helping me to become a better teacher. I am always trying to learn something new so that I may continue to bring my best to my students.

    Now that you have explained how you "rough draft" your anchor charts with the class, and finalize them solo, I feel more confident about creating my own "display-worthy" charts!

    Inspiration and professional development all rolled up into one amzing blog :)
    Primary Practice

  32. Cute anchor charts!!

    I always love your ideas!

  33. You so rock! Can't wait to make these too. Love them!
    Can I hire you to draw them? haha

  34. I just wanted to let you know I LOVE your blog! Thank you sooo much for sharing!

  35. Cara, you are such an inspiration! I just LOVE your blog and all of your wonderful ideas!!! Teaching writing is an area where I feel like I can always improve! I was wondering how you come up with your lessons for writing workshop? Do you have any good resources that you wouldn't mind sharing. Also, is your writing folder just a regular folder that you have added paper to??? Could you explain more? Maybe a post about your writing workshop??? :-) Thanks SO SO much!!

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  37. As a teacher in the UK my classroom may be a little different but instilling a love of writing is still top of my agenda when we start back after the summer holidays next week. Many thanks for sharing your great ideas

  38. As always, I love reading your blog!!! Amazing ideas.

    Thank you

  39. Thank you for using my map of my heart that i did with some Year 3 girls. Mine was the centre heart which we completed with fine liners and water colour pencils. We loved the activity and i have seen it so many more times on blogs lately. Definitely an activity to add to the list of must do again.



  40. I love your Writer's Workshop Anchor Charts and I look forward to your pins on Pinterest! Thank you for all you share:)

  41. Really like your writing anchor chart, very eye-catching!

    Would love if you would check out my blog, although it's in the beginning stages : )



  42. Hey Cara ~ One of your obsessed followers here on your Blog and on Pinterest. You may have addressed this already so my apologies... Obviously, you are most creative; do you actually make your anchor charts with your students or do you have these prepared ahead of time or use charts previously made. I LOVE how eye-catching all of yours are but I know how much time I take writing the simplest of charts. I would love to be a child in your class or a teacher on your team. Thank you for sharing!

  43. I just found your blog! I love the anchor charts. When you have a chance come check out my blog.


  44. I love that you covered WHAT writers write! I think that too often we forget about this important part and even as a 3rd grade teacher, this would be an important portion of learning the purpose. Kids are always so interested in our personal lives and bringing in real life examples of your own writing is a great way to make it really authentic.

  45. I feel less alone in the world of teaching knowing that you and your pals are out there. I love how you show that ACTUALLY TEACHING the standards and having FUN Fun Fun along the way IS possible. Too many of my teacher pals spend ages doing fluff without content. ACADEMIC RIGOR is the buzz word in my district, but I love rigor and JOY at the same time, and you get that! Thank you for the boost of inspiration! I have told so many "like-minded" teachers about your blog, and they all say the same thing...amazing. Well done!

  46. LOVE your anchor charts!
    I'm having an anchor chart linky party with a twist! All links will be included in a PDF with pictures and links to sources and offered for free via download. This way we all have access to lots of great anchor chart ideas/resources at our fingertips!
    Please consider heading over to my blog and linking up! I'd love to include yours! :)
    Wild about Teaching!

  47. Love it! May I use your pictures on my blog (I just started, and the blog is a resource for one of my Masters courses) I will give you credit and post a link to your blog if that is alright. Thanks!

  48. I just began my writer's workshop today with my first grade special ed kids. We are ALL already enjoying it! Thanks!