7 Fun Ways to use Timelines in your Classroom

7 Fun Ways to use Timelines in your Classroom

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.

Indigenous Australians Reconciliation Timeline

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.

Australian Goldrush Timeline

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).

Australian History Timeline

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.

History of Toys 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).

History of Technology Timeline

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.

Timeline Puzzle Templates

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.

History of Transportation Timeline

Got any other ideas? Please share them below.

For other timeline ideas, check out these resources: