A timeline is a powerful tool that allows students to both chronologically understand the significant events of a major historical figure, and also connect how different European explorers contributed to larger outcomes of history. In this activity, students will create a timeline that illustrates the major events in the life of an explorer. Students can either be assigned an explorer to research, or choose from one of the numerous European explorers. Students should use their research to select the ten most significant events that took place in the life of their explorer, from which they'll create their timeline.
For an alternative to the timeline layout, have students create a timeline poster to incorporate into a presentation or gallery walk. You can add more than one template to this assignment to give students lots of options!
Teachers may also choose to have students research significant figures in Native American history during the Age of Exploration. Students represent the same series of events, but from two different perspectives. An example of this activity would be the conquest of the Aztecs by Hernando Cortez from the perspective of the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez, and Montezuma II, the Emperor of the Aztecs.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a timeline that illustrates ten major events in the life of your researched explorer.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
Events and Dates
The events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. The dates provided are correct.
Most of the events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. Most of the dates provided are correct.
Some of the events chosen for the timeline are significant. There may be missing events, or events that are irrelevant. Too many dates may be incorrect.
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are accurate and provide insight into the significance of the events.
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are mostly accurate and attempt to provide insight into the significance of the events.
There are several glaring inaccuracies in the explanations or descriptions of the events. There may be little or no insight int the significance of the events, or the information provided may be too limited or missing.
There are 0-2 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 3-4 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 5 or more mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.