Thursday, April 25, 2013

Using Timelines to Teach History

History can sometimes seem like a jumble of unrelated facts and confusing dates, especially to younger learners. And really, the meaning of history is lost when it can't be viewed as a continuous story.

A timeline is an excellent way to reinforce the continuity of history. Important people and events can be more easily remembered in their proper context when using this visual aid.

There are a variety of timeline styles to choose from: wall timelines, timeline notebooks, accordian-style timelines, and even index card timelines.

Our family uses individual timeline notebooks, made from 3-ring binders, page protectors, and free printable timeline notebook pages. We use the History Through the Ages timeline figures to easily add people and events to the timeline pages.

You don't have to stick with just history facts from textbooks, either. It's very helpful to add the titles of biographies or historical fiction books as they are read. You can also include small photos or excerpts from brochures collected on field trips to historical sites. This adds plenty of "real life" memories to the history framework that has been learned from textbooks!

Coloring timeline figures

If you incorporate notebooking into your study of history, you can add the notebooking pages behind the appropriate page in the timeline notebook. This makes it easy to review the people and events that make up the study of history.

Completed timeline page

Do you use a timeline to aid in teaching history? What tips do you have?

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