Timeout for a Timeline

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SWBAT build a model of a timeline to help track new information learned while reading about Ancient People in our history book.

Big Idea

Timelines are a great way to show history, but why not use it as a graphic organizer to keep our notes. In this lesson, students will create a working timeline where they can add key facts and ideas to it as we read.

The Intro

2 minutes

We are beginning our study of Ancient People of the Americas,  and while planning I realized how many years this chapter stretches over. To help keep our notes and learning organized, we are going to keep a timeline. The timeline will be where we house key ideas and details. Similar to a concept wall, our timeline will track our learning. 

I start by asking students to explain the use and need for a timeline. I have them try to develop or come up with a reason one might be handy in our learning of history. It might be hard for them to go this far, but they will at least be thinking about it as tool and not just something we read on a page. I then have them turn to the timeline in our books to further our discussion. I ask them the same questions and see if they can expand on their earlier answers when they have a timeline to look at. 

The Timeline

5 minutes

to understand and be more familiar with timelines we are going to use our books as a model. We will be creating our timeline to mirror the one in our books. The book already has some specific dates that it has broken different people into. The structure is simple and easy to follow. It will also help them use the timeline more as a text feature by creating their own. I have the students take note of the books dates and the brief reason why that date was chosen. 


The Pieces

15 minutes

I then break the students in to partners with a few groups of three. I have them select a piece of construction paper. I will assign one of these key dates to each group so that we have a heading for these sections of our timeline. Each group will create their part of the line, write the date it represents, and the brief description the book gave to that period.

I will collect the pieces so that we can use them as we read. While we read a chapter and determine it's placement on the timeline, we will put it up in the room. Each section will go up and placed in a spatial relation to show time between events. When we finish the chapter all the sections should be up and all our notes will be added to each section. 

Where We Go From Here

2 minutes

Now we are ready to begin our reading and have a framework set in place to track our reading. As we read, we will use sticky notes to add vocabulary and details from our reading to each era. The timeline will fill up as we get to each section that correlates to our reading. With the use of sticky notes, the timeline will be editable and can go in the direction needed for the students to get the most understanding out of their reading.