|B3. Massachusetts Studies Project
for Local History:
** TIMELINES **
Introduction: A timeline is an ordered representation of events,
generally displayed on a time scale. Many teachers have discovered the
value of using timelines to help put curriculum in perspective.
Timelines are efficient graphic organizers that provide a tool for
studying periods of time ranging from a day, a year, a century, or the
span of an individual's life or of era.
General Teaching Tips: Researching and creating timelines appeals to
students' visual, mathematic, and kinesthetic intelligences. Timelines
can organize research materials in a variety of ways, from storing
primary source data about a topic over time to documenting the
timeframe of a novel or the span of an individual's life gleaned from
an oral history interview. Completed timelines can include multimedia
elements and can be effectively displayed in a variety of formats, from
wall hangings, to 3-dimensional "clothesline timelines", to computer
What is the purpose of this timeline?
What is the basic unit of measurement for this
timeline - hour, day, month, year, century?
What local events were occurring during the period
represented by this timeline?
Critical Thinking Questions (for older students)
What trends, or changes over time does this timeline
Would the trends look different if the scale, or
unit of measurement, were changed?
Select 2 events on the timeline and explain what
they do and do not have in common.
How were events selected for this timeline? What was
left out? Would missing elements change the timeline's representation
of this time period?
Which events on this timeline "caused" other events
to occur? Explain.