Skip to content


June 15, 2012

Using timelines in the classroom is an excellent visual teaching strategy and can also be interactive. I teach a Social Studies Methods course for elementary and middle school teachers. My goal is to model Best Practice and challenge my students to make social studies fun and exciting.

One topic we explore is the TIMELINE. I introduce the strategy by passing out important events from the last 25 years, hoping that someone is old enough to remember these events. (I keep the events saved in a word document, so that I can edit each year and easily print out and cut apart.) The events students receive do not include dates. Directions: Line up in the correct order to make a Human Timeline….without talking. They may only use nonverbal gestures, and signals.

After we check the order and everyone has the correct date, we take the line outside to the sidewalk. Students are given colored sidewalk chalk. I mark off the decades using the seams in the sidewalk. Everyone adds their event AND at least two personal events from their lives to create a Sidewalk Chalk Timeline. Everyone is encouraged to draw pictures to accompany their events. The activity connects to background knowledge and students begin to remember other events, both personal and historical, resulting in a colorful, visual timeline on our campus sidewalk and a lot of fond memories.

We finish the lesson by looking at various ways to use technology to create timelines.

These are interactive, hands-on, connected to real-life techniques for teaching our students about events throughout time.

How can you use this in your classroom?

Have a good day!

Linda C.




Timeline Resources

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2012 9:38 am

    I love looking at timelines but always struggle making them with kids. Thanks for your tips!

    • June 25, 2012 6:51 am

      You are very welcome. Interactive and hands-on strategies, these are essential to engaging students’ interest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: