Category: Anchor Charts

Proverbs and Adages

Teaching Proverbs and AdagesTeaching students to understand proverbs and adages improves reading comprehension. These sayings have meanings beyond what can be understood in their individual words.

A proverb is a simple statement of practical wisdom popularly known and repeated. These common sense statements express some truth often giving advice to the listener. Adages are a well-known proverbs that have been used for a long time. Because these two terms are so closely related, the terms are often used interchangeably. Continue reading

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D Reading and Thinking Strategy

D Reading and Thinking Strategy

D Reading and Thinking Strategy Anchor Chart

Literally hundreds of teaching strategies have been devised. Here is a great hook activity for a topic you plan to study.

1. Devise

Ask students to brainstorm a general topic that you plan to study in the near future. Students will devise a list of everything they know about the general subject. For example, you might say:

  • The Civil War
  • Bullying
  • The Arctic
  • Ancient Egypt

This is a great small group or partner activity. Time the activity for approximately 10 minutes. Here is a great place to find fun classroom timers.

Fun Classroom Timers

2. Declare

After students have devised a list, narrow down the topic. You will declare a specific category from the general topic.

For example,

  • The Civil War – How did the Civil War start?
  • Bullying – Reasons Why People Bully
  • The Arctic – Penguins
  • Ancient Egypt – King Tut’s Tomb

3. Details

Once you have narrowed down the general subject to a specific topic, allow 5 to 10 additional minutes for students to list additional details to their list.

D Thinking and Reading Strategy Brainstormed List

4. Delve

Provide research materials including resource books and/or the internet. Have students delve into the topic. Depending on class time this can be as little as 10 minutes.

5. Discussion

Students will need to organize what they have learned to share in a class discussion. If students are working in small groups, they can highlight two to three interesting facts to share with the class. Explain that the group will share only one detail. It cannot be a fact that other groups have shared. This is why they must have more than one fact ready.


Gay Miller

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Suffix Teaching Activities and Ideas


Be sure to check out last week’s post “Prefix Teaching Activities and Ideas.” The prefix post contains some ideas and free printables for teaching suffixes. 

Activity #1 – Activity for Google Slides

Activities and Ideas for Teaching SuffixesThis activity for Google Slides helps students practice using suffixes that change the part of speech in words. This is a “View Only” file. You must save a copy on your computer before you can edit the file. Here is a one minute YouTube video that will show you how to save the copy.

Activity #2 – Three Anchor Chart Ideas

Anchor charts are a great way to teach skills. Use them as a reference, as an interactive activity, or to model information that should be written on a foldable organizer. This section show examples of all three of these. Be sure to click on either the last illustration or the link in the paragraph below it to receive the free printable organizer.

Anchor Chart Idea #1 (Reference)

Activities and Ideas for Teaching Suffixes

Anchor Chart Idea #2 (Interactive)

Activities and Ideas for Teaching Suffixes

  1. Using large flip chart paper, draw three to four vertical lines to form columns.
  2. Label each column with one suffix.
  3. On sticky notes, write base or root words that form real words when added to one of the suffixes listed on top of the anchor chart. Note: When completing this activity for the first time, using base words that form only one real word works best. For example, piano only forms a real word when the suffix -ist is added. Pianoible, pianoion, and pianor are not real words.
  4. Students place the sticky notes onto the anchor chart in the column that forms a real word when the suffix is added to the word on the sticky note.

This activity may be completed in small groups, as part of a learning center, or as an early finisher project.

Anchor Chart Idea #3
(Pair Anchor Charts with a Foldable Organizer
for Interactive Notebooks)Activities and Ideas for Teaching Suffixes

Click here to download this free foldable organizer that goes over six rules for spelling words with suffixes correctly.

Activity #3 – Free PowerPoints

Click on the images to download these two free PowerPoints.


PowerPoint #1 Activities and Ideas for Teaching Suffixes

Activities and Ideas for Teaching Suffixes

This editable PowerPoint makes a quick easy review. Each of the ten slides asks a single question. Students must determine which prefix or suffix to add to the base word to answer the question. The teacher then clicks to reveal the answer. The slides include five prefixes and five suffixes. You can add, delete, or change the slides to fit the needs of your students. You can also easily change the prefixes and suffixes to the ones you are teaching.

PowerPoint #2

Activities and Ideas for Teaching Suffixes

A Real World Example PowerPoint – This short PowerPoint was created as a hook activity for a lesson. It starts with a note Mom leaves about what snack you, the reader, are allowed to have. It contains just five question slides. Students must understand the meanings of the prefixes and suffixes to answer the questions. Again, this editable PowerPoint can be easily adapted or expanded to fit the needs of your students. 
Gay Miller



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The Whipping Boy Activities

Prince Horace, nicknamed Prince Brat, constantly creates mischief. But because of the custom of the time, he does not receive punishment. A whipping boy steps in to receive the whipping. Prince Horace becomes bored with his circumstances, so he forces his whipping boy Jemmy to run away for a little adventure. A couple of cutthroats who want a ransom from the king capture the boys. Read this novel by Sid Fleischman to find out how Prince Horace and Jemmy survive in the hands of these cutthroats.

 Activity #1 ~ Anchor Charts

The day before beginning The Whipping Boy, I displayed the following anchor charts in the classroom. These stayed up for the duration of the novel. As students read, we added character traits. Once we had read approximately half the book, the characters’ main problems were added. At the end of the novel, the solutions to these problems were also added.

The Whipping Boy Anchor Chart The Whipping Boy Anchor Chart

Activity #2 ~ Scholastic

Check out two activities from Scholastic. Extension Activity includes two writing prompts. The Whipping Boy Discussion Guide contains a printable with 15 discussion questions ranging in Bloom’s Taxonomy from Knowledge through Evaluation levels. 

Activity #3 ~ Appalachian State 

You’ll find great discussion questions, vocabulary exercises, and character traits at the Appalachian State website. The book is divided into three sections with activities for each. Click the links below to go to each section.

Activity #4 ~ Movie

Watch the movie created in 1995. Compare the movie to the novel.

Activity #5 ~ Comparing Book Covers

Visit this webpage to see the book covers.

Activity #6 ~ Book Unit Samples

This free download contains vocabulary practice, a comprehension quiz, and a constructive response question for Chapters 1-2. 

Free Samples from The Whipping Boy Book Unit Free Samples from The Whipping Boy Book Unit

 The Whipping Boy Book Unit

The Whipping Boy Book Unit


The Whipping Boy Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.

Gay Miller



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Reference Materials Mini Lesson


This free Reference Materials Mini Lesson contains three activities designed to help students determine which reference materials are needed to locate specific types of information. The lesson goes over six types of reference materials. These include dictionaries, thesauri, manuals, encyclopedias, atlases, and almanacs. 

Reference Materials Anchor ChartActivity #1

FREE Reference Materials Mini LessonIn the first activity, students create a foldable graphic organizer. This goes over the definitions of the six commonly used types of reference materials.

Activity #2

FREE Reference Materials Mini Lesson

I love using response cards in the classroom. Response cards require students pay attention because it is obvious when a student holds up the same card each time or no card at all. As a teacher, I can quickly see if students understand the concept I am teaching or need additional practice.

In this second activity, students are given six response cards. A list of twenty-two questions are provided in the printable for students to answer using their response cards. Questions include things like:

  • Which source would your use to find the meaning of the word distraught? (dictionary)
  • Which source would you use to find which country in Africa is the largest? (atlas)

Activity #3

Free Reference Materials Mini Lesson

Free Reference Materials Mini Lesson

The final activity contains a set of 24 task cards. Here again students determine which type of resource is needed to locate difference types of information.

I like to use task cards to play Scoot.

Directions for Play

Place one Scoot card on each student’s desk. For easier recording, place the cards in numerical order. Give each student one copy of the Scoot Recording Sheet.

Each student will read the question on the activity card on his/her desk and will record the answer on the Scoot Recording Sheet. After a length of time (approximately 1 minute), give the signal for the students to scoot to the next desk. The signal may simply be the teacher saying scoot or a noise such as a bell. The procedure repeats at each desk. The activity continues until all students end up at the desks where they began the activity.

I recommend going over the pattern for shifting desks and other rules such as being quiet when scooting, etc. before the activity begins.


Download this free mini lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers.

FREE Reference Materials Mini Lesson

Gay Miller


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The One and Only Ivan Setting Activity


If you haven’t read The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, you are in for a real treat. The story is told from the perspective of Ivan, a silver back gorilla in a journal-like format.  The reader learns about Ivan’s past through flashbacks, his struggles in the present living in the small confined cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, and his dreams for the future. This post contains several teaching ideas to use with the book. 

Anchor Chart

The One and Only Ivan Activities

Throughout his life, Ivan lives in four different places. This anchor chart lists those places. For this chart, the class brainstormed details about each place Ivan lived. Students wrote details on sticky notes. The students then placed the sticky notes on the anchor chart in the correct locations. 

Free Setting Interactive Notebook Activity 

The One and Only Ivan Pocket Activity

The anchor chart activity was such a hit with my students that I decided to make a similar activity for interactive notebooks. The activity contains four pockets naming the four places Ivan lived. Twenty-seven cards with details from the story settings are provided. Students can also write their own details on the blank page of cards included.

In this print-and-go activity, students cut out the pockets and cards. Students fold the the left, right, and bottom flaps toward the back to form the pockets. Students glued them into an interactive notebook.

To complete the activity, students sorted the details in the pockets based on the place the cards describe. 

Free Samples from The One and Only Ivan Book Unit

Free Samples from The One and Only Ivan Book Unit

If you are looking for more resources for your The One and Only Ivan unit, check out the free samples from The One and Only Book Unit.

The One and Only Ivan Book Unit

The One and Only Ivan Book Unit

The One and Only Ivan Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.


Gay Miller


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Text Structures ~ Problem and Solution Teaching Materials


My newest book unit Matilda contains a series of six lessons on writing a problem and solution essay. After I finished the book unit, I realized  that I haven’t seen many activities on the web for this skill, so I thought I would do a bit of scrounging and pass along what I found.

Here are the results:

Activity #1 ~ Story Elements Match Up

Story Elements Match UpMary from Teaching with a Mountain View has this free item called Story Elements Match Up on Teachers Pay Teachers. Students match characters to setting to problems and solutions. It looks like a lot of fun for 2nd through 4th graders.

Activity #2 ~ Books that Have a Clear Problem and Solution

Picture Books with a Clear Problem and Solution The Teaching Mama has written short book summaries for “Books with a Clear Problem and Solution” in her blog post.

Activity #3 ~ Posters for Your Classroom

Problem and Solution Classroom Display

Scholastic has a set of printable posters for your classroom in a post titled “My March Top Ten List: Nonfiction Reading Resources.” These free printables include a set of 23 text features and 5 text structures. These would make a super quick and informative bulletin board display.

Activity #4 ~ Problem and Solution

Problem and SolutionsCassie from Create-Abilities has this free resource “Problem & Solution” on Teachers Pay Teachers. It includes 24 pages of posters, graphic organizers, and picture prompts. This looks like a fantastic addition to your 2nd – 5th grade classrooms.

Activity #5 ~ Resources found at Book Units Teacher

Text Structures Anchor Chart

Problem and Solution Anchor Chart

Grab these two free printable organizers here.

Free Printable Graphic OrganizerFree Printable Graphic Organizer


If you like this post, you may wish to check out these other posts and webpages on text structures:

Compare and Contrast

OrderingAnchor Chart

Problems and Solutions

Cause and Effect

Text Structures

chevronribbonblueDo you need additional teaching resources? Check out Problems and Solutions at Teachers Pay Teachers. This unit is centered around nonfiction texts and uses the theme winter. It contains the following:

  • Mini Posters with Rules and Definitions
  • Foldable Graphic Organizers ~ The organizers make a cute lap book or may be added to an interactive notebook.
  • Task Cards using Scientific Text with Student Response Sheets
  • Three Activities
    • Pictures to use for Discussion and/or Writing Prompts
    • Snowflake Bentley Book Unit
    • Writing Prompts, Decorative Paper, & Organizers to Aid in Writing

Problems and Solutions from the Nonfiction Text Structures Series contains a variety of fun and engaging activities to aid in teaching text structures.

Gay Miller


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