Story Starters- Anchor Chart & Printable

I wanted to share an anchor chart I have used to teach story starters. I love these little doodles- I sometimes find my boys trying to copy them in their notebooks, so I guess when I am squeezing in some instruction with cartoon doodles, we all win :)

Here is my (long!) chart- I end up having to put two together, but it's not too bad and you could use smaller handwriting:
They are inspired by one of my most favorite teachers online: Beth Newingham. Her site was what initially inspired me to rethink, reorganize, and redo so much of my classroom- if she ever reads this, Beth, you are ah-ma-zing!

She posted a top 10 list last year each month and her January list focused on Writer's Workshop. She has great posters she used, but I like making charts with my kids and using scented markers (my daily zen), so I took her ideas and created this chart.

When my students and I created this, we were thinking about the story of being late to school on the first day and all of the craziness that would ensue. It was the beginning of the year, so we had read First Day Jitters recently and the humor of the first day of school was fresh in our minds.

Here are the six story leads (written in dark blue on the chart, with our class brainstorm of a good lead in light blue below it):
  1. Dialogue (Talking)
  2. Sound Effect (Onomatopoeia)
  3. Ask a Question
  4. Action Leads
  5. Snapshot (Small Moment)
  6. Flashback
The little doodles match nearly perfectly with these- the "Snapshot" one may be a bit of a stretch, but we compare it to "Gather Ideas" on our Writing Process and ideas being stars that we choose and zoom in on during writing.

I then had my kiddos work on this worksheet to accompany the chart:
It was a nice way to link the anchor chart with our own work.

If you would like these doodles and the explanation sheet that accompanies them, head over to my TpT store and pick them up for free! You can also find the worksheet with this file as well :)

If you use them, I would love, love, love to hear how it went!!

Last link-up with Ladybug's Teacher Files Link Up for Grades 3-6!


  1. Love this, Stephanie! I am your newest follower! Come on by and check out my blog and FAcebook fan page at Confessions of a Teaching Junkie!

  2. Found this the other day and shared it on my blog! Thanks for posting this!!!

    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  3. Thank you for this freebie! I love it!