Interactive Anchor Chart

UDL 3.3 UDL 6.3

An Interactive Anchor Chart specifically incorporates student-generated content onto a chart pre-labeled with the topic and headings by the teacher. While a traditional anchor chart serves as a helpful organizational teaching tool, an Interactive Anchor Chart is designed to promote student ownership and engagement by having students directly write or add sticky notes onto it. A teacher presents an Interactive Anchor Chart with only the topic and heading, and provides students time to work independently, in pairs, or in small groups, to complete the chart. Afterward, the chart is used as a reference tool when working on the same task or skill at a later date.

Implementation Tips

Incorporating Interactive Anchor Charts
Incorporate Interactive Anchor Charts into daily lessons and across content areas often to promote engagement. These can be used as a formative assessment when teaching a variety of lesson topics/objectives (e.g., applying ELA/math strategies, posting student inquiries, taking a survey).
Prepare a visually appealing and comprehensive chart using different colors, fonts, and borders when outlining a lesson's heading and key points. Click [[ | here ]] to see how make your charts come alive. Make sure students are prepared with sticky notes and writing tools when introducing a new chart.
Provide accommodations such as, sentence starters or the option to draw a response, in addition to offering feedback while students are writing to support and clarify the task when asking students to create responses that will be included on an Interactive Anchor Chart.
Make It a Reference Tool
Make mini versions of Interactive Anchor Charts that students can reference when applying new skills independently. Take photos of Interactive Anchor Charts with student input included, resize the photos on a word processing program, then print mini versions of the charts to distribute to students.
Small Group Interactive Anchor Charts
Create [[ | reusable Interactive Anchor Charts for small group work ]] using file folders instead of large chart paper to reinforce key teaching points (e.g., summarizing, generating writing ideas). Use the left side of the folder to outline the teaching point, and the right side as a space for students to add ideas.


Nonfiction Reading Responses
After reading a nonfiction text, a teacher introduces an Interactive Anchor Chart titled, “How Nonfiction Readers Reflect.” The teacher explains the importance of reading reflections and reveals colorful subheadings one-by-one on the chart that will guide student responses to the text (e.g., New Learning, Questions, Something the Author Forgot, New Vocabulary). Students are asked to choose at least one category while reflecting on the read aloud. As students write their responses on sticky notes, the teacher circulates, providing feedback, clarification and compliments to support student understanding. After, the students come up and post their ideas onto the chart and the class discusses their responses.
Opinion Writing
A teacher introduces an Interactive Anchor Chart titled, “How Writers Persuade Others.” The chart is set up as a T-Chart (i.e., Dogs are the best pets. | Cats are the best pets.). The teacher explains that as persuasive writers, students will need to use supporting evidence to convince readers. Students are split into two groups, one in favor of dogs and one in favor of cats. Both groups are given sticky notes and students work together to generate supporting evidence for each claim. Each group adds their sticky notes to the chart and presents their claims. After, the teacher highlights the importance of choosing thought-provoking evidence as persuasive writers.
Fiction Story Elements
While reading [[ | Loser ]] by Jerry Spinelli, a teacher presents an Interactive Anchor Chart titled, “Readers Recognize Social Issues.” Underneath the title, a bolded definition of social issues is listed (i.e., group problems that individuals might face at different points in their life). The teacher facilitates the instruction by using the main character, Donald Zinkoff’s social issue as an example (i.e., bullying). Students are asked to brainstorm and write down other social issues that they or others might face. Student ideas are posted to the chart and then reorganized based by social issue (e.g., divorce, racism, poverty, violence). After, the class discusses the importance of empathy and compassion related to these social issues.

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