In this activity, students will represent their understanding of how democracy has evolved throughout history. Students will research major events and documents that have influenced and shaped the institution of democratic thought and create a timeline of these events. Students should include a description of the event along with the significance the event has had on individual democracies or democratic beliefs. Students should choose five of the events listed below for their timeline, or a teacher can pre-select topics they would like students to cover.
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 and adjust the instructions accordingly.
For this extension activity, students will create a spider map that represents events that have been detrimental to the spread of global democracy. Although democratic principles are seen by many as a universal right, there have been numerous instances where governments have acted in ways that have eroded or partially weakened the rights and liberties of citizens in a democracy.
Students can focus on specific events that seemingly eroded democratic liberties (e.g. McCarthyism, censorship, removal of habeas corpus) throughout history. For each event, students should create a title for the event, create a visual representation of the event, and a description that summarizes what the event or action was and what aspect of democracy was weakened or perhaps destroyed.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a timeline detailing the events and documents that influenced democratic thought.
Grade Level 6-12
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or Group
Type of Activity: Timelines
(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.