How do you Timeline?

freebie, printable, classroom freebiesEveryone likes to make timelines, right?  I mean they are super useful for any number of activities and when studying the American Revolution, well, they fit in quite nicely.  So, I asked my students to make a timeline with several of the most important events that took place during this time.

I didn't want a straight line timeline though, so we did something a bit different.  I had them make hidden door timelines!

Here is how we did it.

teaching in room 6 blog, stephanie, tpt
The kids created a line space in the middle of a piece of construction paper.  Then, I had them measure out the "doors" and then cut three of the four edges on the doors.  Honestly....this was hard.  So I have made a little preprinted template for you (that you can use for ANY period of time, not just the Revolution)  Click here to get it.  I would recommend copying it on cardstock or construction paper.  The thick paper will just work best for this.  Have the kids cut along the dotted line and you should be ok. 

Then, the students glued the "door" paper onto a second piece of construction paper so that there was a writing space.  Visualize the completed one in the picture without the drawings and you can see what I mean.  :)

4th grade blog, upper grade blog
Next, I asked the students to think of four lead up events, four during events, and two after events of the war that they personally thought were important to tell the story of the Revolution.  They wrote the dates on the doors, and drew pictures of those events.

social studies, art, language arts, reading, writing, historyInside the flap they wrote a brief summary of the event with enough detail so that I was sure they understood it.
, 5th grade blogWhen I hung them on the board, I did need to add a little staple to the top ones so they didn't fall down.  But other than that, I am in love.  :)  They really look cute and just different enough to catch my eye.

What have you done with a timeline to make it a bit "different" than the norm?

Here is one other idea I did last year.   Tell me what YOU have done!


  1. Love this variation on the traditional timeline. So much more fun!

  2. This is great! Thinking of using this for Ancient China!

  3. These timelines are such a great idea and I bet they must have been so engaging! I like to have my kids use Kidspiration on the computers -- they are mesmerized by anything that has to do with technology. Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

    1. I have never used Kidspiration. I will have to look into it. You can make timelines on it? Sounds interesting!

  4. What a creative way to do a timeline! These are great - your students really put a lot of time and effort into them! We've been reviewing for our state test using a magnetic timeline of sorts. I posted about it earlier in the week.
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  5. Thanks for the timeline template! It could be used for so many things...I'm already thinking of tons of ideas :)

  6. Clever as always, Stephanie! I love the way they turned out. I'm sure your kids enjoyed creating them.
    Happy Teacher Appreciation week :)
    Fun in Room 4B

  7. Thank you for sharing! I love the foldable combined with a timeline idea. Your kids did an awesome job. I can hardly wait to do this with my students as review for finals.

  8. Fantastic idea! I'm running out of time this year, but I am adding it to my list to try next school year!

  9. Great idea! They look fantastic and I bet your kids loved making them! Nice post, thanks for sharing. :) I'm pinning!

    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  10. I love love love this idea! Linear timelines are hard for US visual non-spatial learners! I used an A to Z book idea for American History and the American Revolution - we brainstormed on a sheet with A to Z and blanks ideas for each letter. Z and X were hard - Excited to start a new nation was X... and then they were assigned the creation of an A to Z book - with a page, short sentence showing the letter B - Battle of... and an illustration. They had to publish it with a cover jacket, author page, dedication, etc. That's in our standards and I wanted to make book making less distant for them. Holding a Roald Dahl book is one thing. Feeling as though you too are a writer is another. They all came away with a "library" of books on the AR to share. So cool! They also felt like true authors - which they all were before but felt that the standard was too high and distant. ;) So empowering! We had an AR don't toss the tea party to celebrate and share. So fun!

  11. How did they know what to write for each event? Did you provide it through lecture and notes or a book?

    1. A combination of it all. We had the text books, trade books, and notes from lecture/videos we had seen. The students used many different sources for their information.

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