Reading, writing and analysing timelines is a requirement of the Australian Curriculum but it should not have to be a chore for you or your students!
Here are seven simple, yet effective, ways to get your students involved in practising timeline reading and writing skills while keeping them engaged and excited about what they are learning:
1. Timeline Bunting: You know the bunting you see in the party section of your local dollar store?
It can make a simple, yet effective timeline activity for your students. Depending on the age of your students and the outcome you wish to achieve: – you could have your students write the dates onto the bunting themselves to create their own individual timeline; – you could have each student write one date and event on their bunting and then come together as a class to put the timeline together; – OR you could add the dates and events on yourself and then have your students put the timeline back together after handing them a piece of bunting each.
2. Block Timeline: This idea is great for the lower grades but I can assure you the older grades will have no hesitation in having a go at this activity as well! Using wooden blocks, cheap building blocks or even an old jenga set you can write the dates and events on separate blocks. You can then either: – allow students in small groups to put the timeline back together – OR give each student a matching date and event and have them together as a class put the timeline back together.
3. Paperchain Timeline: This is a super simple timeline activity that can easily be prepared in minutes. Giving each student some strips of paper have them write the dates and events on each strip. Glue them together to create a chain. (Alternatively you could again do this as a whole class or in small groups by giving each student one strip and then have them work together to put the timeline together).
4. Coathanger Timeline: This activity could be done with the recommended coat hanger for individual timelines or a piece of string for a collaborative timeline. Students write the dates and events on pieces of paper/card and then tie the events onto their coathanger with string. Alternatively you could peg them on their coat hanger or a piece of string if doing a collaborative timeline.
5. Floor Timeline: Place a long piece of tape onto the floor (or depending on the surface you could just use chalk to rule a line). Mark certain dates on the timeline and have students add events that they have been given onto the timeline. Alternatively students could create their own timeline on the floor if they have been given multiple events to sequence (this would be space dependent though).
6. Puzzle Timeline: Using real puzzle pieces or the template found in our FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY, either you or your students can write the dates and events onto each puzzle piece and then put them back together.
7. Paper Cutout Timeline: Also from the dollar store you can often find pre-cut cards in various different shapes and sizes. These plane-shaped cards were perfect for creating a collaborative Transportation Timeline.
National Reconciliation Week is a great opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history. There are some great details about the purpose of this week, as well as ways of participating, on the National Reconciliation Week website.
Dreamtime stories have long been a favourite of my students. Not only do they capture the imaginations of the students, drawing their attention, but they also help reflect the culture and history of the original owners of this great land.
One of my personal favourites is the story of Tiddalick the Frog. In honour of National Reconciliation Week, I am sharing with you one of my favourite art pieces that my students enjoy year after year.
Templates for this artwork can be found in my Free Resource Library. Don’t have the password yet for the Library? Head to my Instagram account, check out my Story Highlights and inside the one titled FREE, you will find the password. Feel free to follow my Instagram account while you are there.
So here are the instructions on creating your own Tiddalick master piece.
You will need:
Oil pastels or crayons (I personally prefer oil pastels as the colours are more vibrant
Note: Before I begin this art work I read to my students the story of Tiddalick the Frog. If you don’t have a picture book for the story here is a link to a video or a printable PDF with a simple story on it.
I also like my students to have completed their recount before beginning the art work as well.
Colour in your frogs. There are many ways you can go about doing this. Either colour them fully in crayon or oil pastel. Or partially colour them with oil pastel or crayon and then paint with water colours over the top (as I did for the spotty frog).
Cut out your frog. (Allow the water colour paint to dry if you painted them)
Putting your frogs aside, take your A3 paper. Students will now do rubbings on their A3 paper. This really can be of anything you like. I chose leaves, with the aim for students to paint them blue with watercolours, giving the illusion of a pond. For the other one we simply rubbed lines along the paper while resting the paper on concrete. This gave the lines a rough texture. This was then painted over in brown water colours to give the illusion of dirt or mud.
After rubbings are completed, students can was over the top with your chosen water colour paint.
Once the paint has dried, students can now glue their frog and recount onto the A3 paper.
Pretty simple hey?! You are welcome!
If you are looking for other activities to support Reconciliation Week, check out these resources:
Because not only do they showcase student learning in a neat and organised package (pleasing my OCD tendencies ;p) but they are engaging for students also. I love how my students take ownership of their Lapbook. They take pride in the work they produce and interest in the topic that is being studied. Even the most boring of topics comes to life as my students explore the content using interactive notebook style flaps and pockets.
Why does it work?
I don’t really have the most scientific of answers but all I know is that it just does! Taking notes in a flipbook style format as opposed to straight into their books just grabs their attention more.
So how do I use Lapbooks?
Lapbooks are used in a variety of ways in my classroom. Most commonly I use them for assessment. Like the Australian Explorer Lapbook below, there is usually some element to the Lapbook that showcases the learning process as a whole class and then an element where the students then have to take this knowledge and apply it. In this case, the students have to write a biography/letter/diary based on the knowledge gained from their research of their Australian Explorer.
Other Lapbooks I have used in the classroom are used in rotations. These Lapbooks are designed for the teacher to create and can be used over and over again to consolidate learning of a particular topic. My Math Centre Folders are a great example of this.
But how do you assemble your lapbook?
I should really get down to the purpose of this post. How to assemble your Lapbook.
Lapbook assembly is quite straight forward really. All you will need is:
A Manilla folder (A4 or foolscap is fine – all my resources have been created to suit an A4 lapbook)
A4 thick cardboard – about 230gsm (optional)
Taking your Manilla folder, open it out and flatten out the middle crease as much as possible.
With the Manilla folder still open, fold the left edge into the middle crease. Press down firm to create the new crease.
Fold the right edge into the same middle crease and once again press down firmly to create a new crease.
At this point your Lapbook is assembled, however, in order to ensure the sturdiness of your Lapbook and prevent it from folding at the middle and destroying the contents of your Lapbook I recommend you follow the next steps.
Open the new folds you have just made.
Take your piece of cardboard and apply some glue to one side.
Glue the cardboard into the middle of your Lapbook (this will prevent it from folding in on itself).
You are finished!! Well done! Easy hey?! Now the possibilities are endless. Check out the ideas below on how to use your Lapbook.