Why You Need a History Timeline

 When you teach history to children, the reference of a timeline is invaluable.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  Children want to know where they land in the story.  And history is a story.  Our story: the exciting, sometimes upsetting, but always amazing story of mankind.

So, you need a Timeline.  And boy, have I got a perfect one to recommend!

Today, I am going to showcase a beautiful Timeline Book created by fellow teachers on TpT, Matt and Tara from "Tied 2 Teaching":


This Timeline Book is simply a timeline, made up of many pages (printed two-sided), laid out over the middle of each page in increments of 5 years.  (As you get closer to more modern years, the increments are smaller so as to give more room to cover events in modern years).

This is the tool you need to connect this interactive experience of history and all these activities you're doing, with the child who is learning about it.  Personally, I'm not real concerned about date memorization in history.  What is more important is the overall picture of history that begins to come into focus as children learn about and experience things of the past.

I'm going to begin to show you how we will use this lovely tool and you will see us utilizing it in many other future posts, also.

Now, here's how your timeline book will look (above) when you first print it out.  I'd recommend getting a nice 3 ring binder and page protectors to slip each page into.  Or, you can have it spiral bound at a professional print shop.

We chose the page protector route for ours, because this binder is going to become a very important facet of our History curriculum and we will be sneaking these pages out of their protectors periodically in our journey through history.

The first thing you'll want to do, is find the year that your child was born and tuck in a photo or note that says, "When {insert name of your child} was born."

Then, when you thumb backwards into the past, it helps your student to grasp that the story we are covering happened "back then".  We have many pages that fill our binder in between this important event of when your child was born and the historical event that we happen to be covering.  And so, an understanding of the stretch of time that is there begins to be comprehended. 

Sometimes, we forget that for young children especially, their understanding of time is still in process.  This was hammered into me humorously when I was explaining how people crossed a land-bridge to get to America and one innocent 2nd grader asked in all seriousness, "Were you there then, Miss C?"

 Every time you and your child cover an exciting or memorable fact as you move through "Story of the World", you're going to want to tuck in something to represents that memory in this binder at the time period it happens (if known).

Maybe your child will write "When Papyrus was first used" or maybe you'll glue in a piece of your own papyrus creation, or maybe you'll drop in a little image that illustrates the fact.

 Here, we had just read Chapter 2 and covered the section about King Narmer who united Egypt and began wearing the double crown of Egypt.  I drew this map of Egypt and a nice picture of the king wearing the double crown, we printed it out, and taped it down around 3000 BC on our timeline (above).

(These particular drawings are in our Ancient Egypt Activity Kit, listed as "Timeline Additions", available in my store, but you can always find images on Google to print out for this, and if you are not planning on using Google images to sell, there are many to choose from).

We also colored the nice title page that comes in Matt and Tara's Timeline Book.

Then we added a cut-out of Glimmercat as an Archaeologist to make it truly our own (also included in our Ancient Egypt pack), and we slipped this into the front of our binder.

He was pretty excited about his binder and inserted the pages into the rings ("I want to do it all by myself, Mommy").

Now, we will continue to use this Timeline Binder each time we read about something new and keep adding bits in, and as we continue, that vast lapse of time between the year he was born and the history we are covering will start to be better understood.

Big thanks to Matt and Tara at "Tied to Teaching" for letting us showcase their beautiful timeline.

Be sure to check out their TpT store for many other fine products:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tied-2-Teaching
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susan berkowitz, slp said...

This looks like a really cool way to get kids to understand the concept of time and sequence of events. Thanks for sharing. Making it relatable is such a good idea.

Christina Morrison said...

Thanks! Yes, anything to make those concepts more concrete!

Unknown said...

What a great idea to make a year long timeline for World History. I can already imagine the end year projects based on it,

Whispering Waters said...

Great post. It is so helpful to see resources in action. I love the cover of this resource.

Christina Morrison said...

It IS a beautiful cover. :) Way to go, Matt and Tara!

Christina Morrison said...

Yes! What a great resource for the kids to keep using. And, since we homeschool, I can easily envision us using this timeline for several years.