PERSIA Charts: What are they and how do you use them?

Acronyms galore! What field doesn’t have more acronyms than necessary? Education is no different. PERSIA Charts are my favorite however and I encourage all history teachers to use it. 

What is a PERSIA Chart?

Students need help reading the text. They are learning which information is important and which isn’t and they are learning how to categorize the information into even smaller bits which can help them learn the EXACT information they need for a class.

PERSIA charts help students categorize the information they are learning. As with any acronym, each letter stands for something specific to history classes and the acronym itself is easy to remember.

  • P = political. Write information pertaining to governments, laws, and rulers.
  • E = economic. Write information pertaining to economies and money.
  • R = religious. Write information pertaining to religion, religious changes and upheavals, leaders, and movements.
  • S = social. Write information pertaining to social classes/castes, gender relations, discrimination, etc.
  • I = intelligence. Write information pertaining to technology or new information in the time period.
  • A = art. Write information pertaining to art and artists, music and musicians, and important artistic movements in the time period.

If teachers are being honest, their students suck at taking notes. They usually pick poor information or only take notes to meet a grade requirement and many high school teachers assume students know how to take notes and differentiate between important and useless information. But when would they have learned it? Few schools actually dedicate class time to the essentials of studying and assume students will catch on.


PERSIA charts is an opportunity to help students learn notetaking skills and helps them use their time more efficiently. Students shouldn’t be left to figure it out on their own. They need explicit, direct instruction. PERSIA charts accomplish that.

My TpT Store

To help you make it easier, I sell ready-made PERSIA charts. You can print them for a few weeks while students get accustomed to the method and then you can teach students to complete them from scratch in their notebooks.

But my PERSIA charts come ready with the following:

  • Regular PERSIA chart (a one-page chart with columns for the information)
  • Long PERSIA chart (one-page per prompt. This is best for information-heavy lessons or units)
  • PERSIA Flipbook (a multi-page flipbook that requires a little bit of work but gives students a well-organized note-taking surface)
  • Student prompts (more on this in the next paragraph)
  • Completed example (more on this coming up!)


Student Prompts

When you introduce PERSIA charts to your students give them this Student Prompts page. Each column has multiple questions to help students figure out what kind of information they are looking to fill for each prompt. For example, for government, they will be asked to think about if the government is centralized or decentralized (an important concept in advanced history classes), or the name of rulers, or to include vocabulary that enhances the political section.


Completed Example

When you open the color option (because some of you are blessed to have color printers I have included a color version) you can choose to print a completed PERSIA chart. This is another great resource to give students when you introduce PERSIA charts to them. They can always look at a teacher completed version to see what their charts should look like.


Also, if you teach world history or Asian history, you can give students a day off from taking notes when you cover early Chinese history (Xia – Shang dynasties).

Ready to purchase? Click on the cover below!

PERSIA Charts************************************************

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