In This Activity
Every state has a rich history that defines how it is known today. In this activity, students will research the history of a state and illustrate it using a timeline layout. The state may be chosen by the student or assigned by the teacher. Students must think about what makes an event truly worthy of being included in the timeline and be able to include detail in 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, and update the instructions accordingly.
Template and Class Instructions
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Create a 4-6 cell timeline of important events in a state’s history.
- Use the provided blank template or add cells to your own template as needed.
- Write the state’s name in the top heading.
- In the title box, list out each of the events in sequential order and add correct dates.
- Describe the events in the description boxes.
- Create an image in each cell that depicts the events, using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
Lesson Plan Reference
- [ELA-Literacy/W/4/2] Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
- [ELA-Literacy/W/4/7] Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
- [ELA-Literacy/W/4/8] Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
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.
How to Connect State Timelines with Cross-Curricular Learning Objectives
Introduction to State Timelines and Cross-Curricular Concepts
Begin with an explanation of what a timeline is and its importance in understanding historical progression. Introduce the concept of cross-curricular learning, explaining how different subjects like geography, art, and social studies can provide a more comprehensive view of a state's history. Discuss the state they will focus on and provide a brief overview of its significance.
Research and Data Collection
Guide students in researching key historical events of their chosen state. This should include geographical changes, important social movements, and notable cultural and artistic contributions. Encourage the use of diverse sources such as books, online databases, interviews, and multimedia resources to gather comprehensive information.
Creating the Timeline
Provide students with materials to create their timelines, such as large paper sheets, markers, rulers, and access to digital tools if available. Instruct students to not only place historical events in chronological order but also to visually represent cross-curricular elements. For example, they can draw geographical changes over time, or depict significant cultural or artistic milestones.
Presentation and Reflection
Have students present their timelines to the class, explaining how the different elements from various subjects are interconnected and contribute to the overall history of the state. Encourage feedback and discussion among students to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the interconnectedness of different disciplines in understanding history.
Frequently Asked Questions about State Timeline Projects
How do students determine which events are significant enough to include in their state timeline?
Determining Significant Events for State Timelines: In deciding which events to include in a state timeline, students should focus on milestones that have significantly shaped the state's history and identity. This includes its founding, major political and social events, cultural milestones, and influential historical figures. The key is to select events that collectively tell a comprehensive story of the state's development and character. Teachers can guide students to consider events' historical impact, long-term effects, and relevance to the state's current status. Research can be guided through historical markers, state history books, and educational websites that highlight pivotal moments in the state's history.
How detailed should the timeline be?
The detail in a state timeline should be appropriate for the students' grade level and the project's scope. For younger students, broader strokes focusing on major events and simple descriptions are suitable. Older or more advanced students can delve into more detailed and nuanced aspects, such as the causes and consequences of events, or lesser-known yet significant historical moments. The timeline should be a balanced blend of comprehensiveness and clarity, avoiding overloading with too many details while ensuring key events are informatively presented.
What are some effective ways for students to present their timelines to the class?
Presenting state timelines can be a creative and engaging process. Students can conduct oral presentations, explaining their timeline's events and their significance while walking the class through the chronology. For digital timelines, a slideshow or interactive session can be effective, allowing for multimedia enhancements like images, audio clips, or video excerpts. Another approach is a gallery walk, where timelines are displayed around the classroom, and students walk around to view and discuss them. This method encourages peer-to-peer learning and allows students to engage with the material in a more interactive manner. Whichever method is chosen, the focus should be on clear communication of the historical narrative and its impact on the state's development.
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