Anchor Chart Design: The Secret to Engaging and Effective Teaching

Editorial Team

Anchor Chart Design

As educators, we are always looking for new ways to capture our students’ attention and make learning more engaging. For example, anchor chart design, which you can create at Storyboardthat, has become a popular tool in classrooms around the world, and for good reason. Not only do they add color and personality to your classroom walls, but they also serve as an effective teaching tool that can help your students retain information and develop important skills.

What are Anchor Charts?

If you’re not familiar with anchor charts, they are essentially visual aids that teachers create to help students understand and remember important concepts. These charts are typically made on large pieces of paper or poster board and hung on the classroom walls for students to reference throughout the year.

The content of charts can vary widely depending on the subject and grade level, but they often include key vocabulary words, diagrams, and examples to help students make connections between different concepts. Anchor charts can be used in any subject, including math, science, social studies, and language arts.

Why Use Anchor Charts?

There are many benefits to using anchor charts in your classroom. For starters, they provide a visual representation of important information, which can be especially helpful for students who are visual learners. Additionally, charts serve as a permanent reminder of what has been learned, allowing students to revisit concepts throughout the year as needed.

But perhaps the most compelling reason to use charts is that they simply work. Studies have shown that visual aids like charts can significantly improve student achievement and retention. In fact, some research suggests that students are up to 80% more likely to remember information that has been presented visually than information they have only heard or read.

Tips for Creating Effective Anchor Charts

Designing an effective anchor chart is both an art and a science. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Keep it simple: The purpose of an anchor chart is to make complex information more accessible to students. Keep your design clean and uncluttered, and use simple language that your students can understand.
  • Use color: Color can be a powerful tool in making your anchor charts more engaging. Use bright colors to highlight important information and draw attention to key concepts.
  • Be consistent: Create a consistent format for all of your anchor charts, so that students know what to expect and can easily find the information they need.
  • Update regularly: As students learn and grow, so should your charts. Be sure to update them regularly with new information and examples.

Examples of Effective Anchor Charts

The best way to understand the power of anchor charts is to see them in action. Here are a few examples of effective anchor charts in different subjects:

  • Math: A chart that shows different ways to represent fractions, including number lines, pies, and shaded rectangles.
  • Science: A chart that outlines the steps of the scientific method, with examples of each step and space for students to add their own observations.
  • Social Studies: A chart that shows the branches of government, with information about the responsibilities of each branch and how they work together.
  • Language Arts: A chart that lists different types of figurative language, with examples and definitions for each.

Using Technology to Enhance Anchor Charts

In today’s digital age, there are many ways to take your anchor charts to the next level using technology. Here are a few ideas:

  • Interactive Whiteboards: If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, you can create digital anchor charts that students can interact with directly. For example, you might create a chart about the different parts of speech, with examples and activities that students can do right on the board.
  • Digital Tools: There are many digital tools available that can help you create engaging and interactive anchor diagrams.
  • Virtual Anchor Charts: If you are teaching remotely or have students who are learning from home, you can create virtual anchor diagrams that students can access online. For example, you might create a Google Slides presentation with slides dedicated to different concepts or vocabulary words.

By incorporating technology into your chart design, you can engage your students in new and exciting ways, and make learning even more accessible and interactive.


Anchor diagrams are a simple yet powerful teaching tool that can help your students learn and retain important information. By following a few best practices for design and content, you can create anchor charts that will engage your students and reinforce their learning throughout the year.

So next time you’re in your classroom, grab a sheet of poster board and some markers and get started on your own set of anchor diagrams. Your students (and their test scores) will thank you!