Timeline Practice for Better Understanding Chronology of Events
  • Michelle McDonald

Timeline Practice for Better Understanding Chronology of Events



While we often teach history thematically, chronology of events is imperative to understanding history. One skill that I realized my students needed extra practice was reading timelines for information. Timelines are arranged in many different formats, so I quickly realized my students needed practice with lots of different types of timelines.


Why Timeline Analysis?

Timeline analysis allows students to make connections, organize information, and visualize and recognize patterns in a series of events.


Reading Timeline in Different Formats

While we might be familiar with the linear timeline format, there are many different styles and formats for organizing chronology of events. I knew that some of those different formats would show up on standardized testing, so I wanted my students to be comfortable reading and answering questions from various forms of timelines.


Since we were studying US history, I created timelines in various formats that span from 1900-1945. These different timelines fit in well with our different units throughout the year.


I have since made these timelines Google Compatible because these practice sheets can be a great supplement or enrichment learning opportunity during distance learning.



Topics & Key Events Include:

- Significant Legislation

- WWI

- 19th Amendment

- The Stock Market Crash

- Key Individuals

- Changes in Transportation

- New Deal

- Pearl Harbor

- US involvement in WWII

- And MUCH MORE!


Providing Student Choice

I wanted my students to dive deeper into a topic or historical event from the timelines. So I included a research topic sheet to give students a choice in their learning. I find that students are so much more receptive to learning, if they get to make choices about what they are going to learn. Because the timelines are focused around a specific time period, I knew that my students would be learning about a topic that was relevant to our unit of study. Having students share what they learn is also a great way to practice communication and speaking skills.


If you are looking to add timeline practice to your social studies lessons, these are great for homework, distance learning, or enrichment opportunities.

Timeline Practice: US History 1900-1930 (Progressive Era/Roaring Twenties)

Timeline Practice: US History 1930-1939 (Great Depression, New Deal)

Timeline Practice: US History 1940-1945 (Pearl Harbor, WWII)


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