Monday, June 25, 2012

Social Studies Galore!--US History Student Timeline

Do you use timelines in your classroom? I have researched timeline books for YEARS (for real) and tried to find a format that I could be happy with. Most of what I could find wanted me to buy their spiral bound book (not gonna happen at 10-15 bucks for 20+ kids). Others suggested using sketch pads and writing the dates at the top or bottom corner of each page. This idea was not organized enough for me and I could just see my kids going through the numbering part...even if they did it correctly, it would take forever. I also didn't like with that method that I was unable to put some kind of structure in place on the page. In another attempt at making a classroom timeline with clip art, I found US History clipart very lacking (even the clip art that was for purchase) and most all of my students love it when I bring a drawing activity into the classroom, so why buy a program when they can draw? Again, I was back to needing to create a structure I liked myself.

FINALLY, I think I have a timeline format that!..and be super excited about. First, I created snazy new covers (5 versions to choose from). Then I decided I would try out a portrait version instead of the landscape version I had tried at first. Right now, I LOVE the portrait version because it will work well in a binder and will make sense when students are flipping pages.

Timeline booklets will be used at the beginning of every social studies unit and throughout the unit as we learn about new events. I will be doing timeline activities where students are given a list of key events, they have a summary sheet to complete, then they create a symbol/picture for the event, place it on the timeline with a sentence about the event. The timeline activity provides background knowledge for students to connect to when learning about events more deeply through later classroom lessons. (You can also use the jigsawing strategy a lot with timelines--four kids research four different events, then share info with the other three in their group, etc.). Our social studies book is a great resource for the timeline activity because it gives a very dry summary...making those later classroom lessons so important, but helping to give an overview (and finally give me a dang use for those not-so-exciting-books). Here's a little example from my Civil Rights timeline project. (A freebie on TPT).
A Landscape Student Timeline Example 

Summary Template

We will also be creating a classroom timeline. When students have completed all of the events on the timeline, I will give them an event to add to our classroom timeline. They can transfer their learning onto the template and attach it to the classroom timeline.Students draw a picture to show the event on the front and summarize the important things that happened on the back of the card. Here's an example:

You can get the new and improved US History Student Timeline Books now on TPT. The years in the book range from 1612 to 2020. I can't wait to break these out when school starts back. I asked my students to bring in an extra binder...we will dedicate that binder to the Timelines and the summary of history sheets I shared in my last post.

PS--My Overarching Themes of Social Studies bulletin board  that I wrote about in my last post would be great paired with the timeline books as routines that would be easy to implement into your social studies instruction...I changed that product to a FREEBIE by the way!

Keep following my blog for future updates of timeline ideas....CAN YOU TELL I'm OBSESSED?

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...