Teaching with Timelines

What Is It? Throughout a school year or history course, students collectively construct an illustrated timeline of historic events and people they have studied. Rationale Researchers have found that students too often encounter little bits and pieces of history out of context and unconnected to larger historic themes. Consequently, students don’t develop a sense of historic era and they don’t connect individual events to larger movements and themes. These limitations not only af fect students’ grasp of history topics; they may also restrict students’ engagement in critical analysis. As a recent middle school study found, "Without proper background knowledge, students have difficulty developing the contexts for historical thinking" .

“Use [timelines] to categorize similar or related events into themes, eras, and topics and to help students compare elements in different time periods”.
Timelines help students understand the chronology of historic events, and help students situate newly encountered events and figures in relation to those they’ve already studied. They provide a visual aid for identifying cause and effect relationships between events, and a visual prompt to activate student prior knowledge. They allow students to recognize how historic events, eras and topics overlap in time. Use them to categorize similar or related events into themes, eras, and topics, and to help students compare elements in different time periods. All of these purposes are important singly, and collectively they help students develop a long-range understanding of historic chronology. http://teachinghistory.org/teaching-materials/teaching-guides/24347 Timelines are often dull laundry lists of events in chronological order found on classroom walls or in appendices of books. However, they are important tools used by historians not only for organizing events, but also for thinking about relationships and patterns. Timelines come in a variety of forms and can be used for many different purposes. Creating timelines offers students an engaging and exciting way to do “handson history,” and allows them to make observations, think critically, and think historically. Using a timeline will help students learn the following historical thinking skills: •Chronological thinking; •Significance, and insignificance, of the past to their own lives; •Prioritize historical facts and events in order to develop the “discerning memory” needed for critical thinking and judgments; •Change and continuity over time; and •Historical analysis. https://www.google.com.ar/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CD0QFjAB&url= http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanbar.org%2Fcontent%2Fdam%2Faba%2Fpublishing%2Finsights_law_society% 2Fsuffragetimelinelesson.authcheckdam.pdf&ei=tvsxUqyBKczLigKGo4CAAw&usg=AFQjCNFTwdE4h1YPKTjTZ D960Si9nl8MoQ&sig2=sSa2h2TGpDV2eDbGjyuLgQ

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