With several new and pending acquisitions of land and the question of slavery in the balance, the time between independence and the Missouri Compromise is certainly very interesting. In order for students to understand what led to the Compromise and how it was created, they should create a timeline of major events that preceded the Missouri Compromise of 1820. This will provide them with a bigger picture understanding of historical context.
Teachers may pre-select events for students to discuss, or students can choose the events they deem to be the most important. This activity allows students to better understand the evolution of slavery in early America and the further historical implications of the question itself.
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.
Have students create a timeline beginning with the Missouri Compromise and ending with the Civil War. Students should concentrate on major legislative attempts to solve the question of slavery, including the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Fugitive Slave Law, and Compromise of 1850. This will allow students to better understand how instrumental the compromise was in ultimately delaying the Civil War and how the U.S. attempted to solve the slave question.
(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 leading up to the Missouri Compromise.
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
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.