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Time Marches On

The stories of history have beginnings, middles, and ends that show events, and suggest causes and effects. A personal timeline helps your child picture these elements of story.

What you'll need:
Paper for timeline
Colored pencils
Shelf paper or computer paper
Removable tape

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What to do:

  1. Draw on a piece of paper, or in the history log, a vertical line for the timeline. Mark this line in even intervals for each year of your child's life.

  2. Help your child label the years with significant events, starting with your child's birthday.

  3. Review the timeline. Your child may want to erase and change an event for a particular year to include a more memorable or important one. (Historians also rethink their choices when they study history.)

  4. For a timeline poster, use a long roll of shelf paper or computer paper. For a horizontal timeline, fasten it to the wall up high around the room using removable tape so that your child can take it down to add more events or drawings. For a vertical timeline, hang it next to the doorway in your child's room. Start with the birthday at the bottom. Your child can begin writing down events and add to it later.

  5. For older children, have them do a timeline of what was happening in the world at the same time as each event of their life. To begin, they can use the library's collection of newspapers to find and record the headlines for each of their birthdays.

Questions to ask:
What is the most significant event on the timeline? What effects did the event have on your child's life? What are the connections between the events in your child's life and world events at the time?

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