All About Pocket Charts
How Teachers Use Them to Organize Their Classrooms and to Make Learning Fun for Their Students!

Updated On June 19, 2005

I love using pocket charts and sometimes wonder if I could teach without them. Hmmm??? Many teachers write asking me for pocket chart ideas. As a result, I decided to create this page - All About Pocket Charts (How Teachers Use Them to Organize Their Classroom and to Make Learning Fun). Here you will find ideas from teachers, links, great resource books, and cool pocket charts. I am always adding new ideas as I find them... A special thanks to the teachers out in Internet World that are willing to share their ideas here!

Pocket charts can be used for so many purposes. They are great to place center activities in. They are fantastic for posting schedules. I could go on and on. I have utilized them to:

Reconstruct poems, songs and chants
Sequence alphabet or pictorial story lines
List days of the week, months of the year
Word banks for themes or journals
Word tricks such as the,they,them,then/no,not,now
Pattern sentences for reading and journal sentence prompts
Build rhyming word banks
seasonal and thematic vocabulary
Making Words activities
small group instruction - great for resource rooms or special education k-8


To store the materials that go along with the many pocket charts I create for centers, I staple ziploc bags to the bottom of the chart. I fill the bags with the materials I need for the certain pocket chart activity. When it is time to take down a given pocket chart, I store all the materials for the pocket chart in a large folder.

You can purchase seasonal pencils and attach a seasonal eraser to the pencil. Use this to have the children point to words on a chart. They enjoy this! Don't sharpen the pencil!

In July, Walmart stocks the regular pocket charts for an awesome price of about $10.00. You can find them in the school supply section of the story. Can't miss this buy!

Often teachers will sell some of their neat-o pocket charts on Ebay. You know the ones that come in the cool shapes? Do a search for pocket charts on and see what is there. Sometimes you can find a good deal.

Go ahead and cut those Walmart charts to make them fit on the back of tables or where you see needed.


After looking through all the great ideas on this page, you may want to check out one of these books that is filled with even more great ideas. Click on one to learn more!

These are ready to use pocket chart sets by Scholastic. They make our job a bit easier. Click on one to learn more!


Let's Check out Some of the Pocket Chart Sets Found on Teaching Heart CDROM's

Below is a small sample of what is found on our CDROMs. Save yourself time and money and get them all now!!! TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CDROMS: CLICK HERE!!!

A Beach Picture Center From Our Reading and Literature CDROM # 4:
This is a center for your pocket chart. This will help your students work on rhymes.  They match words to the picture they rhyme with.   After they finish the center you may choose for them to complete the center sheet found on the last page.

Print the pictures and words on cardstock.  Laminate and cut.  Place the pictures in the top row of your pocket chart.  Place the words in a basket near the chart.

Here is what the file looks like. The picture below only shows part of the file - it gives you an idea. The last page is a center sheet to have your students complete after they finish the center.

Your students will pick a card from the basket and place it under the picture that rhymes with the word.  Each picture will have four words under it when the student has finished the center.  They may complete the center sheet next.


Here is an ABC center for a Farm Unit. This is found on CDROM # 4 for Teaching Literature and Reading!

This is a pocket chart center.  It asks your students to match the word to the picture.  When they are finished you may choose to have them complete the center sheet found at the end of this document.

To make this center:  Print all the pages on cardstock.  Laminate and cut the pieces.  Then place the pictures in the pocket chart.  Place the words in a bin below the pocket chart. 

To Play:  The students take a word from the bin and place it next to the correct picture.  To make this more difficult, have your students match the word to the picture and then put the words and pictures in ABC order.

Here is what the file looks like. The picture below only shows part of the file - it gives you an idea. The last page is a center sheet to have your students complete after they finish the center.


Cat in the Hat Story Sequence For Your Pocket Chart - Found on CDROM #4 for Teaching Literature and Reading!!!


The picture below give you an idea of what is in the file. All you have to do is print and cut. There is a sheet (not shown) that the student must complete after finishing organizing these in the pocket chart!


BOO HOO BABY Pocket Chart from CDROM #4 Teaching Reading and Literature.

Print, Laminate, Cut, and Use -What Did The Animals Suggest In The Story?
Place each of the characters in a pocket chart. Place the sentences in a baggie by the chart. The students must place the sentences next to the correct character. Some characters may have more than one statement next to their picture.  You may place a copy of the book by this center.

Part of the materials found in the file are shown below to give you an idea.


For Alexander and... from CDROM #4 Teaching Reading and Literature.

Below are sentence strips with a matching picture.  Print each strip.  Have your student sort the strips in order at a pocket chart.  When they are finished you may have them complete the attached center sheet

The picture above is only part of what is in the file. It gives you an idea...


The Very Busy Spider Who Said That Pocket Chart Center from CDROM #4 for Teaching Reading and Literature.

Place word strips in a pocket chart or file folder.  Place animal pictures in a baggie.  You also may wish to place a copy of the book at the center.   The student should place the animal next to the statement the animal said in the book.  The last page is a center sheet to match this activity.  Have your students complete this center sheet after they have finished the independent center.

The picture above only shows part of the file. A center sheet is included in this file.


Snowman Contraction Center From CDROM #2 - October Through December

This is only a small part of the materials found in this file. There is also a center sheet to match the files found on the smae CDROM. - Follow the link to see more pocket chart pictures from this CDROM # 2


Here is a baby Chicks ABC order pocket Chart from CDROM # 3 for Jan - June.

This is only part of the file. A center sheet is included on the same CDROM


Here is a bunny story for your pocket chart. This is only part of the file. It is found on CDROM #2 Jan. - June.



THERE IS SO MUCH MORE on all the CDROMS - Hope You Enjoyed What you Saw!!!



Below you will see what other teachers are doing with their pocket charts. Many of the ideas were posted on the Teaching is a Work of Heart Mailring & Chatboard. Also, many were posted on the TNet rings and boards. Some ideas were sent to me. I just organized all the ideas and put them in one place for teachers to use!

Primary Chatboard - TNET
Rings - TNET
Teaching is a Work of Heart - Chatboard
Teaching is a Work of Heart - Mailring

I use one of my pocket charts for graphing activities. I usually use 4 different attributes (i.e. jack-o-lantern, ghost, witch and bat for October). I run these pics off on 4 diff. colored construction paper so I have 18 of ea. pic (about 4 inches square). I laminate them. Then I put them in a box with a flap on the top. This is called the no peek graph box. The kids come up as they finish using the restroom and choose a picture and place it in the correct row. I start off the graph with one pic on every other row. Leave a blank row inbetween. When the graph is complete the kids tell me facts about the graph. By the end of the yr. they are able to talk about very complicated mathematical facts. We do this at least 3 times a week. The kids love this. Every month I have a diff. set of pics. I even have sets of pics for some of my favorite themes - farm, dinos, ocean and zoo animals. After we have discussed the graph the first time I will remove one attribute and ask the kids to discuss the graph again. This saves time by not having the children make a second graph from scratch. You should always have your pictures the same size so the kids will know that the number that will fit in the row. This way if the first row is filled and the second row has 2 the kids will remember the first row has 9 and the second row has 2 (9+2=11). If this isn't clear, let me know. Maybe I can give more detailed instructions. - Posted by Cloe70 on 6/22/02

Posted by Kaylene on 6/23/02

I put a question at the top (yes or no) and then students put their name under the appropriate heading. I use it as a way to check attendance, students do this first thing as they come in. I have them try to figure it out. Usually with a little help, someone reads it and helps the others. During our opening we talk about the question and count the YES and NO responses and compare More and LESS. My questions usually have something to do with our theme or the season. Sometimes I use picture clues in my questions.

A favorite center activity in my class is matching words with laminated die cuts. For example, I have a die cut fish and the student will find the word "fish" and pair them together in the pocket chart. They do this alone or with a partner.

Laminated die cut shapes are great to use to make different patterns in each row of the pocket chart.

I would also love more pocket chart ideas!

alphabet flashcards- left in order to point and read or have the students take them out and put back in order.

Rhyming or beg sound matching with pictures.

Short poems and nursery rhymes. Point and read or have a 2nd set of word cards for students to place ontop of each word.

Sentence strip version of student take home book or other 4-8 page story.

Match numbers to sets of pictures or number words

You could even have center rotation displayed, conduct, and attendance used with pocket charts. Scholastic has several pocket chart books/kits you can get. Check out to see what they look like. Posted by Terri F. on 6/25/02

Somehow I have four pocket charts (gee, how did that happen? LOL) and now I have that great big one that was $9.99 at Walmart. I just read on the K chatboard how you can take the great big one and cut it to make 3 small pocket charts. So, now I have six pocket charts. One is very small and I use it at my writing center with letters from the alphabet. The children like to find the letters in their names, etc. I have an apple chart that I have used at circle time for various activities. I am going to use one of my cut up charts and sew them so there is an individual pocket for each child. I got this idea from Dr. Jean's Transition Tips and Tricks, where you place a photo of each child in a slot and then when they arrive they match their laminted name card to their picture. What other things have
you done with pocket charts? I like to make things as interactive as possible! Rachel/PK

I recently purchased the pocket chart that looks like a school house. I bought some of those small multicultural people cutouts (boys & girls). I will take each child's picture and mount it in the face area of the cutout, laminate, and when they arrive at school each day they will place it in the schoolhouse for attendance. During circle we refer to it and the leader counts how many boys vs. girls using a magic pointer (pencil with funky eraser) etc. it's a good visual, interactive math tool. I used to do this by placing the little people on the felt board and attaching velcro to them, but didn't have the wall space this year, so I bought the chart instead, it's very cute.I have another pocket chart that has a sentence strip at the top, the sentence says "_____ is the leader today." Each day when the children arrive they find their laminated sentence strip name card on the table (I set them out before)and place it in the chart. The class leader for the day puts his/her name in the blank spot on the sentence strip. I think I will also place their pictures next to their names on their sentence strips this year like you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!vanna/pk/tx

Pocket Chart Ideas For Science

Posted by Eloise Smith on 7/22/02

I have been teaching 25 years and believe me basic science has not changed (solids, liquids, gases, the water cycle) even though we use more computer technology to observe and report weather!!!

About 12 years ago I started making my own word cards to help teach concepts in science. I worked out the phases of the moon; eclipses of the sun and moon; the seasons; the water cycle; solids, liquids, and gases; forms of energy; simple machines; animal life cycles; endangered species; natural resources; movements in the earth's crust; types of rocks; and types of pollution (air, water, land). For the most part I have been able to reuse these cards with little modification even though we have adopted a new science book.

I use these cards and sentence strips in pocket charts. I remove them daily and use them tocomplete a "verbal cloze" summary of the previousday's lesson before presenting th next lesson.

Sometimes the students use the words as prompts to write a summary in their journal. The chart resemblesa word web representing ideas MORE than a ABC listing of words on a wall.

I got the science words from the chapter we were studying. I took one day at a time and made the cards after I had preread the assignment to prepare for thefollowing day. Sometimes I made extra cards from thegeneral knowledge I had about the subject or afterdoing some additional research. So I post the cardsas we discuss a part of a chapter that we have just finished reading together. When I remove the cardsfrom the chart, I put a rubber band around them and placed them in a plastic shoebox. I never really mounted them on the wall since I use a pocket chart to hold the cards. I sometimes selected cards to make a "word box" that student could use to answer questions that I asked orally or to complete a guided or independently written paragraph.

One example would be the three states of water: (Each word is printed on a different card. Sometimes I use a different color for the headers.)WATER
ice dew vapor
hail rain steam
snow river fog
sleet cloud

Oral questions:(Sometimes we play jeoprady with the cards when the students see the answer and ask the questions.)
Name the three states of water.
What collects on the grass overnight when there has been no rain?
What kind of water rises from a boiling kettle?
What was dangerous to the Titanic?
What is a frozen river called?

CLOZE (While holding the cards in my hands, I usually do this orally with the class who gives a choral response before I place the cards in the chart in a cumulative way. Sometimes I write a paragraph on the board or a half sheet of paper for them to complete while referring back to the chart. Other times the students use the chart to write an independent journal response.)

We have been studying _________. There are ______
forms of water. These states are _______, _______,
and _______. _______ water forms when the weather is
________. "Stiff water" can be _______, _______,
_____, ______, _______, and _______. "Rolling water"
can be ______, _______, and _______. "Invisible
water" can be ______, ________, ______, and ________.

Jouranl Entry: Draw a snowman on a warm February day. Show and label all three states of water in your drawing. Use arrows to show precipitation, condensation, and evaporation of water.

I have even used these word cards to give a oral quiz over what we have been studying. I place 3-4 words in the pocket chart at a time to provide the answer choices in a multiple choice style. Then I ask the class to number their papers 1-10. Next, I start asking questions: ( solid, liquid, gas, cycle)
1. Rolling water is a _________.
2. Invisible water is a ________.
3. Stiff water is a _______.
4. When water evaporates into the sky and condenses to fall back to earth, we call it the water ______.( evporates, boils, freezes, melts)
5. When ice changes into a liquid, it ______.
6. When water changes onto a solid, it _____.
7. When heated water bubbles into the air, it ___.
8. When you bath towel dries, the water _____ into the air.
( precipitation, condensation, evaporation)
9. When water falls back to earth, we call it ______.
10 When water goes into the air, we call it ______.

I often wish that I had had the time to do cards for social studies and health but I just ran out of time. I did make several word card set for the parts of speech, math facts, and geometry.

I use pocket charts for just about everything-such as their work detail for the week---I put their names on
labels and then stick a card with their job for the week behind their name----ex. gardner---this personwaters the plants.

I use pocket charts for word games such as prefixes and suffixes. I write root or base words on sentence strips and then use a different color sentence strip and write the prefix or suffix. Divide the class into two teams and explain that the are adding prefixes and suffixes to words and the words have to make sense. The get 1 point for every word they correctly add a suffix or prefix to and 5 points for every word they successfully add a suffix and a prefix to. At the end of the game (time limit of 5 minutes or when one team runs out of prefix or suffix cards). The winner is the team with the highest amount of points.

Janna Tipton - 3rd Louisiana

one idea I've recently come across to use with pocket charts are "Word Whackers" - they are essentially fly swatters where you cut a rectangle out of the middle - then the students and/or the teacher can use the "Whacker" to point to different words and utilize the hole in the middle to frame the words for the students - teacher supply stores in Texas are selling them for $1.00 but I got mine at K-Mart for 2/$1.00 in all sorts of neat colors - I'm the Literacy Specialist for grades 1 and 2 so I picked them up for my teachers in pink, purple, turquoise, and blue - Beth

Post: Yes No questions for pocket chart

Posted by Pam on 8/12/02

I know awhile back someone listed some Yes, No questions that the kids answer when they come in before school starts--kind of a instant graph. Does anyone have some good questions that are fun to ask?Thank You, Pam

Here are some that I have used:

Do you like popcorn? (change to other foods)
Do you like to jump? (change to other movements/activities)
Do you have a dog? (change to other animals or objects)
Do you have a big (little) brother (sister)?
Do you have blue eyes?
Do you pick up your toys?
Do you like to write in your journal?
Do you like to play games?
Do you like to plant flowers?
Do you like mud?
Do you like to smell flowers?
Do you like black jelly beans?
Do you like dill pickles?
Do you like rainy days? (change weather)
Do you like to listen to stories?
Do you like puzzles?
Did you bring your library book today?
Did you bring a smile? (school picture day)
Did you hatch from an egg?
Did you like our field trip?
Did you have fun yesterday?
Did you wear a hat today? (change article of clothing)
Did you ride the bus to school?
Is today your birthday?
Is your journal full?
Is your hair brown?
Is the letter (name a letter) in your first (last) name?
Is your backpack (change object) red? (change color word)
Have you ever kissed a pig?
Have you ever seen a leprechaun?
Have you ever lost a tooth?
Can you hop?
Can you count to 100?
Can you say the Pledge?
Can you say your address?
Can you say your phone number?
Can you do this? (include a picture of a motion, silly
expression, or a series of cards that make a pattern - I
use the Snap/clap cards from Math Their Way -- they
really like this one!)

These are multiple choice (more interesting to graph)

How old are you? (choices 4, 5, 6, 7)
How did you get to school? (choices bus, car, walk, other)
What color is your hair?
What color are your eyes?
What is your favorite color? (put color words on cards down
the left side of the pocket chart - answers go across to
make a horizontal graph)
How many letters are in your first (last) name? (put numbers
down the left side - answers go across)
How many people are in your family? (numbers down the left -
answers go across)
When is your birthday? (put months down left side - answers
go across)
What is your bus number? (numbers down the left - answers go

Do you read the kids the question or are there pictures for them?

At the beginning of the year I start with the easiest questions and we work together to figure them out. I try to ask a question that fits the day (Did you bring a smile? on school picture day) As the year goes on the questions get harder and they work together to figure them out with less and less or no help from me. They use first name cards to mark their answer 1st semester and last name cards 2nd semester. I spread the name cards out on a table before they arrive. The only picture cards I use are the movement cards from Math Their Way that I use for patterns.

I am usually busy with attendance, reading notes from home, etc. while they do the question of the day. When I am done we go over the question, discuss the answers, decide which answer has "more" or "Less" or if they are "equal". Sometimes we use the question as an idea for a journal entry.

Thank you! These are great questions to add to my collection. The kinders do enjoy the Question of the Day and it is fun, on occasion, to switch around the yes and no cards especially when you have a "Do you like cookies?" type question. Business cards fit in the yes /no section of my pocket chart, so I sometimes ask things like "How many legs does a spider have?" and write 6 / 8 on cards to go in the top. I also ask "Do you prefer fried or mashed potatoes?" with fried / mashed on cards... well, you get the idea.Last year, at my partner's suggestion, I included a short question period after we discussed the graph. "Susan, why don't you like snakes?'" accepting only complete sentences and not accepting "I don't know!" Then, "Katie, why do you like snakes?" It made them think and was a constant source of quiet amusement for me! Have fun! Chrissie

We use a the Chart everyday as a calendar and it is a very important part of the routine. We have cards reading "Today is", "Yesterday was", "Tomorrow will be", and "Today's weather is", along with the cards for every day of the week, every month of the year, numbers 1-31, and the year number. We straighten the calendar in the obvious way every morning, and then I add a description of the day's planned theme or any special events or countdowns (like to Christmas) in the bottom pocket, and then read it. The kids love this so much that the Chart changes before I even get down to the classroom in the morning! - Jen/Distance Ed. Teacher


I have purchased all my stands at Walmart. I just get the rolling closets - clothes hangers, that can be purchased in the home section for around $15.00. Often they will go on sale for around $10.00. I have never made my own. Some of you might want to try. Here are some ideas to get you started.

My husband made one for me. You decide how tall and wide you
want it to be. For the frame, you use elbow joints in the
corners to connect straight PVC pipes. At the bottom corners,
you use a T joint, because you have to attach the legs. To
make the legs, make a smaller rectangle, one that sits on the
floor and is perpendicular to the other one. Connect it to
the main frame with other straight pieces. It's really easy,
but it does help if you draw it out first and measure the
things you will want to put on it, so as to make it the
correct size. One final tip, don't make the floor section too
big, or you will end up tripping on it (if you're like me!) - Posted by Cindy in Ca on 6/22/02

I needed another chart stand and found that a garment rack
from Wal*Mart was just what I needed! It was not expensive
and is on wheels so I can roll it where I need it.
Jane in SC :-)

Walmart rolling garment rack for $9.99 is just the thing. I
had my husband cut down the side poles to make it easier for K
kids and so it was more the height of a "real" chart stand. I
bought another this year and plan to add another pocket chart

I've noticed on some of the teacher websites that some of you have pocket charts on backs of bookshelves, and other fun places. I was wondering what you use to hang them. Posted by Terri F. on 7/21/02

I use the plastic hooks that come with a sticky back adhesive. None have come off yet, but I figure if they do- it's on the back of a shelf afterall. I won't/can't use them on closet doors/etc... Terri F.
Bakersfield, CA.

Posted by kathy/fl on 7/22/02

I've also used those "As seen on TV" suction cup hooks. Magnetic hooks and clips are favorites of mine, too.

Posted by rita/IA on 7/22/02

My dad built my shelves (there was only one shelf in the room!), and I had him put pegboard on the backs. I use those little silver metal hooks that slip into the pegboard holes.

Here are some of my favorite links about pocket charts!