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Compiled By: Mrs. G

Timelines don't have to be boring. Here is a collection of creative timeline ideas that you can do with your class.

Posted by: jean

Have the students bring in photos with one major event for each year of their life. The parents could put the year on the back of each picture. Students could put the events in order and then glue them down, with the year of each event under each picture. Events that might be included; 1st birthday, family trips, 1st day of preschool, kindergarten graduation, etc. I do a timeline with my 3rd graders. I model with a period of my own life (the whole life is too long!). I do a ten year period just to give them an idea. Have fun with it!

Posted by: LindaR

Have students use a poster board (let them decide the orientation) to create a "road" of their lives, with all the landmarks to highlight important events. Using pictures and art can make these really beautiful and insightful.

I have seen "roads" that were zig zag, spiral, straight, etc. Mountains and valleys were drawn to show the highs and lows of life (even a cemetery when a loved one passed away).

You might want to do a whole class poster first based on a character's life your students have been studying before they try their own. Six graders love being creative, which helps them to be more thoughtful!

Posted by: G

I made timelines using cash register paper with Q-tips with little flags attached to Q-tip marking the date and event. The tape was long enough to be added on to when necessary. I had them place Q-tips far enough apart so if extra dates needed to be inserted, there was still loads of room. Hope this idea is helpful!

Posted by: marie

If you can find some old computer "tractor" paper, you can use one page for each year of the student's life. Spread all of the sheets out and draw a line horizontally across all of them. Then have the students label the top of each sheet with their age beginning with zero when they were born. They can mark the line vertically with important events for each year and draw pictures of those events under the line. (We draw the horizontal line about 2 inches down so there is about 6 inches underneath for pictures.) The paper folds easily and can be kept in a manila file folder.

Timeline Home Project
Posted by: Love2Learn2

I also do a timeline project that goes home with the children where they make a timeline of six events in their life. I've attached the letter and rubric I use that goes home to the parents. I hope it helps.

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biography timelines
Posted by: roo

This would not fit the traditional understanding of fun, but my students loved making & their own timelines when we read the biography of Lou Gehrig. I think the trick is to find a person they can really feel an interest in. Plus, I give them the idea of how a timeline will be set up, but the actual design of it is their choice, and they decide what to include. They really enjoyed this project.

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Time Lines
Posted by: Sandy

You've probably already taught this skill but here is food for thought for next year. When school starts, start a classroom timeline. I've done it by running a piece of strong all the way across one wall. We used half sheets of construction paper for the events and a full size sheet for names of months. For example, we start school in August so I started with a yellow 9/12 sheet with August written on it (and the abbreviation underneath). Then throughout August, we made a sheet for important events, i.e., Open House, guest speaker, etc. I put the date at the top of the half sheet and the event below. Then we just paperclipped them along the string. Good luck!

timeline with negative and positive events
Posted by: michelb366

I have the kids choose any biography to read. When they are done, they choose 5-10 important events in a person's life (good and bad) and write a paragraph about it. They then plot the events in a timeline with a twist. The horizontal axis tells the age of the person when the event happened. We add a vertical axis numbered from -5 to 5. The kids then need to decide whether this was a really negative event (-5), really positive event (+5), neutral event (0), or somewhere in between.

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Posted by: Jesica

I just did this with my kids. We made a timeline of events from the novel we were reading. Then I pointed out how events in that timeline were related by cause/effect relationships. Then the kids made timelines of their own - I told them to use events from the day before that really occured. Then each student wrote 5 cause/effect statements about their timeline. Ex: Because I was late to school, I did not have time to finish my morning work.

Class Time Line
Posted by: jennyfa

Some teachers in my school do a class timeline. Using the number line and the days of school, they write events that happened. For example, on Day 30, We learned about nouns. It's really very cool in the classroom. You can go back through your plans to come up with some ideas and ask your students for suggestions.

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schoolwide timeline
Posted by: yesteach

One of the most popular yearly events at the college I graduated from was the yearly "timeline" in the education department. I think people came from all over the school to the education building to read and add to it... it was so much fun! Not to mention some of the sarcastic comments that got added (1802 - Professor Smith joined the staff.. that sort of thing.. lol). It was HUGE, it wrapped around the entire fourth floor (skipping doorways just to start up again on the other side). It had "pre-1950" at the beginning(for those of us who were old and could go back that far!) and then at the end 1990 and beyond (as I graduated in '89). So many putting wedding dates, when babies were due, etc.

The first year I taught I decided to do one at my school with my sixth graders - so we did the same thing "before 19xx" and "after 19xx" and invited everyone to start writing - students, parents, teachers, visitors... We also did research and found "important events." We started fairly early like before 1970... twenty years prior... so parents and teachers had space to write things... was fun to see what was going on in OUR lives and what was going on in the WORLD at the same time. The kids loved it - they'd read it anytime we were in the hall - great way to keep them learning while you wait for your turn in the restroom line.. :D

We did it for several years, and then I started teaching only math/science and it died out... but it was a fun activity when we did it!

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Posted by: bookworm86

This week I'll be doing a mini-unit on timelines in social studies. I'm going to start with a quick review of the Pilgrim's journey and have the children put events from that time in order (didn't get to it last week). The children will also do a timeline project that will be do on Monday.

My question is what can I do the rest of the week to go over timelines? I have been searching through resources and scouring the web, but I just can't find anything that stands out for first grade. Any ideas from your highly creative minds would be appreciated!

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No title
Posted by: MissKayak

This may or may not work for you, depending on what you have nearby... but there is a very popular amusement park in my area which 99.9% of my students last year had been to at least once. I got online and did some research, then found the years that the rides were installed. I printed pictures of the rides, took 'em to the copy machine, and the class had a BLAST making Kings Island time line from the intro to the unit! :-)

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Living Timeline
Posted by: iluv3rd

First I read a picture book biography of Martin Luther King Jr., but you could do it with any material. Then together (2nd grade at the time) we wrote out the key events of his life as a list. Then partners made an illustration for each event on 12 X 18 paper and included a caption of explanation. When all of the illustrations were done, the kids figured out how to arrange the pictures in order to make a living timeline. We visited several classrooms and did a mini reader's theater type presentation of our timeline. Kids read their caption in order, stepping forward when it was their turn.

I love the idea of a class timeline (ala BookMuncher) where you document monthly highlights (academic or otherwise) that happen in the classroom and display them as a timeline somewhere in the room. That would be an ongoing application of the concept.

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Posted by: jrg

I do a timeline of events that occurred in the past 100 years for the 100th day of school. Each student brings in at least 5 events, inventions, etc. from the past 100 years. We write the event and date on 3x5 cards and put them in the appropriate spot on a timeline we post out in the hall. It is just an introduction to timelines but they always have fun doing this activity. (Other classes stop by to see what "new" things have been added each year.)

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penny autobiography
Posted by: iluv3rd

I read The Hundred Penny Box aloud. The kids found a penny [minted] for each year they were born and wrote about the most important event in their life that year. They glued a penny to each page. They had a ball hunting for the right pennies and shared when they found pennies others needed.

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Posted by: Mrs. G

Here is a lesson plan I wrote for using the document camera. It is on creating horizontal and vertical timelines for the American revolution time period.