Timelines are a fun way for children (and adults) to organize history while learning about it. There are many ways to make timelines, I will cover several here. Your students can make a new timeline for each school year or you can let them use the same one for all of their school years, preschool through high school. Their timelines will soon become one of their favorite and most cherished possessions. They will most likely want to keep it as a reflection of their homeschooling years.
Pre-Made/Pre-packaged Timeline Figures Vs. Making Your Own
Color Coding, Symbols & Borders
Tips for Making Your Figures
*Use a Pencil at First
**How do I make Colored Glue?
My Timeline is simply a timeline for children to complete about themselves. Of course parents can complete one too, and this would be a good example when showing them how to complete their own time line. My children have placed their My Timelines on the back of their 3 ring binder timelines (in the clear slip covers provided on the 3 ring binder that they use) . As your children grow up, they may add to their personal My Timeline information to reflect their updated history.
How do I Complete the My Timeline Sheet?
1. Please see the Forms Page for the My Timeline form and print out as many copies as you need.
2. Either write your name in print, big goofy letters, bubble letters or some other fancy or crazy writing to make this uniquely your My Timeline. You may color it with crayons, paint, colored pencils, or **colored glue (this is an inexpensive way to add color to lots of stuff and the children absolutely love it).
3. Write your date of birth either using the same technique(s) you used for your name or spice up your page and use another technique.
4. Either paste on a photo of you now (or a previous one like one from when you were a baby), or you can do a self-portrait using any art media you'd like. 5. Add your birthday in by 0 on the time line.
6. Now you can add any interesting facts about yourself on your My Timeline.
Some examples are, beside the space for age 2 -won the trophy for "Cutest Smile', age 5-started homeschooling, age 11- got saved and was baptized, age 16- received my high school diploma, and age 17- started college.
7. Decorate your page and add some color if it is needed.
8. Make sure that your My Timeline is dry before filing it into your portfolio or elsewhere!
We, the Millers, have used various types of timelines throughout the years and our absolute favorite is the 3 ring binder time line. Our children have put memorabilia from various field trips all throughout them; as well as, historical people, places and things that they have learned about. It is much easier for them to understand history and to keep it straight with the 3 ring binder time lines, and they have chosen to keep the same timeline for all of their homeschooling years. Their time lines have gotten so big that they have two separate 3 ring binders, one for the BC and one for the AD. They are always adding blank sheets of paper, in order to fit all the information and other stuff that they want for certain time periods.
How do I set up a notebook timeline?
1. Please see the Forms Page for the Notebook Timeline forms, select either the horizontal or the vertical form and print out as many copies as you need.
2. Place pages in a 3 ring binder.
3. *You will need to label the dates before you begin, see the Forms Page for the Sample Notebook Timeline forms BC & AD.
4. Be creative and add people, places and things that you've learned about on your timeline. Make sure to include at least one sentence about the person, place or thing on your timeline.
How many copies will I need?
Divide the total number of years you want to cover in your timeline by how many years each page represents. Copy this number of sheets for each student.
We set our BC timelines up for every two hundred years, and this has been more than sufficient space for our children's timelines. If you set up your BC section for every two hundred years you will need 20 pages per student (plus one or two extra).
We set our AD timelines up for every 20 years. Now that we've had them set up several years, we wished we had done it slightly different. We didn't need as much room in the 0 to 1500 years as we have for the 1500 to 2000 years. If you will be doing lots of World History you may need the room. We do more United States History, and we therefore need much more room in our 1500 to 2000 years time period. In order to continue using our timeline as we had originally set them up, we just add additional blank sheets between the timeline sheets that we already have in our 3-ring binders. If you set your AD section for every 100 years from 0 to 1500, and for every 10 years from 1500 to 2010 you will need 66 pages per student (plus one or two extra).
Suggested AD Guide
1590-1600 and continue making a timeline sheet for every 10 years through 2010
This can be quite fun when you are studying a certain time frame and would like an illustration of it, to see the whole picture. When we used a textbook curriculum during our 2nd and 3rd years of homeschooling we made several different banner timelines. We did one for each of the chapters that we studied.
How do I set up a banner timeline?
1. Please see the Forms Page for the Banner Timeline forms (you could even use the Notebook Timeline forms too), select either the horizontal or the vertical form and print out as many copies as you need.
2. Tape the number of sheets together on the back that you will need for your banner. It would be best to use 2-inch wide tape; however, normal sized tape will do.
3. *Label your dates.
4. Be creative and add people, places and things that you've learned about on your timeline. Make sure to include at least one sentence about the person, place or thing on your timeline.
This method is convenient when you want a display of the time period you are working on, and you want to store those previously made but that you are not using currently. Unless you make very few cards each year, it is unlikely that you will be able to keep all the cards you make up on the wall for more than a year or two.
In order to display your cards you should stretch a piece of string across a wall and attach it to the wall with nails or tacks. You then attach your cards to the string with paper clips (like a clothesline). When you want to add new cards, you simply slide over the older cards to make some room for the newer cards. If you fill your index card line and still need more room just add another line above or below your original one.
When you have too many cards, or are finished with the timeline for the year, you can store your cards in an index cardholder or find a box and make your own. You will already have them in date order, so that would be the easiest way to set up your index card timeline filing system.
A great way to see history everyday. This is really a nice way to do a timeline; it was our favorite when we had the wall space to make one. When we moved we didn't have anywhere to put it! Before you decide to do a paper strip timeline, look for a spot that you will be able to place it. Some ideas of places that you could put your timeline are: in a hallway, if it's a small hallway you could put you BC on one wall and your AD, on the other on the wall space surrounding a door, or if you have the luxury of having a huge wall space, you could use that space.
If you will be using this timeline for any length of time, it will fill up fast so make sure to plan for enough room. You and your children will often reflect upon the wonderful memories that were made while working on the timeline, what a great way to remember history while making your own. It will be always be an art in the making. Everyone's wall space is different so you will need to figure up how much you have and how much time you want each strip to represent to determine how many strips you want.
How do I make a paper strip timeline?
1. Make as many paper strips up as needed for the space you have. A minimum of 3 inches of free space should be left between the strips in order to have adequate room to put your figures on the timeline. You can place your figures above the paper strips or on the paper strips, this may influence where you write the dates and/ or place your dashes (top or bottom).
2. On construction paper, white paper or colored paper mark both sides of the paper horizontally every two inches. Use a ruler to draw lines on your paper.
3. *Write your numbers and dashes onto your paper strips now. If you forget to do this before you laminate you will have to use a permanent maker, and oftentimes the ink will scrap off when scratched. You may also make small laminated date cards that you can move around if needed.
4. After you have written your numbers and dashes it is best to laminate your strips before cutting them. If you will leave your timeline up for an extended length of time you should plan in advance to help keep it looking nicely by laminated your strips and figures (when made). You can use contact paper, the 2-inch wide clear tape, or an inexpensive laminator (now available at lots of department stores).
5. Cut your strips and now staple them onto the wall. A staple on each end of the strip will more than adequately hold the paper strips up long-term. 6. The stapler or sticky tack will become your best friend; you can use either to place your figures and memorabilia on the timeline.
This is a good type of time line for those that wish they had room to make the paper strip timeline, but they just don't have a place that it can stay indefinitely. This time line can be taken out when needed, and can be placed in a closet, under the bed or other storage area when not needed. It is always a plus that it is so portable, as when your local support group has a 'Toot Your Horn Night', or bring something that you've made this school year, your children can bring their time line.
How do I make a Poster Timeline?
1. Buy several poster boards (the more you connect the longer your timeline will be) and tape them together on the back side with 2 inch wide tape, or you can purchase one (or more) of those nice boards used for science experiments and/or displays. When your poster timeline is not being used just fold it up and put it away.
2. Make some paper strips the same way as explained above for the Paper Strips Timeline; however you may want to make them 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches wide instead of two inches wide (this will give you more room on your boards for your figures) and either glue or tape them onto your board(s) remember to make sure you have about 3 inches of free space between the strips.
3. *Mark your dates and dashes onto the strips unless you will make small laminated date cards to move around as necessary.
4. Laminate the poster boards or the display board if it is not made of a durable material.
5. You will definitely want to use sticky tack for this kind of board. Another alternative is using tape, just make sure that the tape is a kind that will come off easily when you want it to.
6. You can make one large one for both the BC and AD or you can make two, one for both BC and AD.
This is a much smaller timeline that you can use for special projects. You may choose to laminate it so that you can use it over and over again or you may decide that you want to make a new overlay for each period, chapter, or book studied.
How do I make Overlay Timelines?
1. Choose either to make a vertical or a horizontal book. Make 20 copies for the vertical book and 15 copies for the horizontal book. You will need one additional sheet of paper not to be cut for the overlay timeline.
2. Cut sheet number one on the line marked cut 1, cut sheet number two on the line marked cut 2, finish cutting each sheet on the line marked to cut for the number sheet you are cutting.
3. Laminate now if you choose to do so.
4. Place your whole sheet of paper on a table/counter top, now place the largest sheet that you have on top of the whole sheet of paper, the next largest, and continue placing the larger of the sheets you have down until you have placed them all in order (largest to the smallest, with the smallest on top).
5. Pick up all of the sheets and tap them towards one of the ends of the whole sheet so that they all are aligned nicely.
6. Staple, or use brads to connect the ends of the stack together. You should easily be able to see that you have your smallest section on top with each sheet under it becoming a little larger.
7. *Mark your dates and dashes onto the sheets.
8. You may choose to use your timeline this size or make it a mini overlay timeline by cutting the booklet into half starting at the end that you secured together and cutting to the other end. Make sure to have the end secured good before you start cutting.
9. You can use sticky tack or tape on your laminated overlay. If you chose not to laminate then glue may be used for a permanent adhesive.
This method of making a timeline is very similar to the index card timeline, and you may choose to use a card line (like the clothesline) or a filing system for your report card timeline. With the report card timeline, you have more room to be creative and to list more facts or information on the person, place, or thing that you are studying about. However, because the report card timeline is much bigger you will not be able to keep as many of them on the card line (clothesline) at one time. Another good thing about the report card timeline is that I have designed the forms at our Forms Page on a standard size sheet of paper, and you can choose to place them in a 3-ring binder for easy access and to use when doing a homeschool support group or other kind of display. You can either use regular paper or weighted paper to make your report card timelines. You can also choose to use different colors of paper, an example of this using blue for a person, green for a place and yellow for a thing. You be creative and design your own color coded system for the report card timeline.
The pre made pre-packaged timeline figures that are available now are really great, there are some basic ones and there are some really fancy colorful ones. I'm sure there are many folks who will prefer them; however, I do not. There are several reasons why I do not prefer them, the first and foremost reason is retention. When a child or children make their own timeline symbols they come up with the design on their own, after they have researched and learned about the subject matter. When they brainstorm and come up with their own design, they are more likely to remember the information relating to the timeline figure/symbol when they review the timeline or when they need to pull from what they've learned in future learning and life situations.
The second reason I prefer the children making their own is, the pre-made pre-packaged versions do not always have all the people, places or things you are studying. When the children get use to making their own you will find that their creative talents will be sparked, widened and certainly enhanced. Often times you may end up with more than one timeline figure/symbol as they couldn't choose which one of their masterpieces that they liked best.
The third and final reason I prefer the homemade one's is expense. We could afford to buy them, don't get me wrong homeschoolers are very resourceful when it comes to getting the curriculum or resources that they need to homeschool. Most of the pre-packaged stuff is very pricey especially if you want some fancy ones, why pay someone else? If you really want to spend the money on timeline figures and symbols, spend it to buy treats for your creative artistic children that designed them for you!
You can color code, make symbols and/or borders in several different ways if you choose to.
Here are a few ideas to spark your family's creative minds:
Person, Places, & Things could each have their own color, symbol or border.
Each Continent could have a different color, symbol, or border.
The United Stated could have it's own color, symbol, or border.
Various types of people (rulers, explorers, artist, scientist, writers) could each have their own color, symbol, or border.
1. We like to draw maps when we are studying places, you can use colored glue and really make some exciting maps.
2. Don't limit yourselves to pencil and paper, incorporate all kinds of art supplies - colored pencils, crayons, pastels, charcoal, calligraphy pens, fine tip pens, colored markers, use scrap paper, colored paper, tracing paper, construction paper, crepe paper, tissue paper, and other specialty papers.
3. Burn your edges and dye in tea the historical documents drawn for your timeline.
4. Drawings of stick people are fine, however, I'm sure you'll see that with encouragement your children will be trying to draw more accurately.
5. Historical memorabilia from a field trip or family outing would be great to add to your timeline. If you go see the Alamo at the Imax you could put your ticket stub up with a drawn figure or picture.
6. Inexpensive border templates from a craft store or department store would be a quick help if you decide to use borders on any of your figures.
7. Have FUN!
*Write all numbers in on your timeline(s) with a pencil! After you have finished penciling in ALL timeline numbers, then you may use a pen, marker, or permanent maker to write over the pencil. Remember mistakes will be made, and it will be easier to fix them when they are in pencil.
Purchase inexpensive school glue from a dollar or department store. Put 5 to 12 drops of food coloring in each bottle. The more you put in the darker the color will be. By putting in less the color will be lighter. Make other colors by combining the primary colors. It's not usually a good idea to put more than 12 drops in the glue, as it will become too dark. Be careful when combining colors; you might need fewer drops of one color and more of another.
Close the glue bottle tightly and place on a counter or windowsill where it's sunny and warm. The molecular action will spread the food coloring throughout the glue and you will be ready to make lots of neat things with your colored glue usually within 24 hours.
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