Timelines help us differentiate time- seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, seasons, years, centuries, and millenniums! They record nature’s evolution through different eras of diversification and adaptation. They can record almost anything you can imagine. Timelines document a person’s birth, adolescence, and adulthood. Timelines are charts that record history and progress and even make predictions for the future. They help to record human developments, achievements, inventions, aspirations, successes, and failures. You will make a timeline at least once in your lifetime!
Activity 1 – Horizontal timelines
Horizontal timelines start with the earliest date on the left and work to the last date on the right. They use text, photos, drawings, or images. Pick a topic that interests you- something from nature or human design. Make a horizontal timeline of the critical stages of development. Note the time or date of the evolution. Making timelines helps us to visualize and understand development and history. Learning from history enables us to understand what came before on earth before we arrived!
Activity 2 – Vertical Timelines
Vertical timelines start with the earliest date on the bottom ( or top) and work their way (up or down) to the last date. They use text, photos, drawings, and images. For example, make a timeline of a bean seed, starting with planting it, watering it, seeing it sprout, documenting its growing leaves and shoots, climbing a pole, and sprouting beans. End with the success of harvesting beans and saving some bean seeds!
Activity 3 – Circular Timelines
Circular timelines record something that perhaps repeats itself or comes to join the past with the future. A good example is a timeline of the changing cycles of the moon. The moon waxes and wanes. It disappears and then appears slowly as a crescent, a sliver, a quarter moon, a half moon, a three-quarters moon, and a full moon. Waxing is the term for the moon growing fuller. When the moon gets smaller, it is called a waning moon. Finally, it reverses and declines its shapes. Make a circular timeline of the reoccurring stages of the moon. Another circular timeline is the evolution of a butterfly from the moment the butterfly returns to where it was born on a milkweed plant to lay eggs for the following butterflies. Research and label the stages of a butterfly’s life.
Activity 4 – Square Timelines
Four squares in a square offer another type of timeline. Moving from right top to right bottom to left bottom to left top. Think of it like the quarters of a clock or watch moving from 12 to 3 to 6 to 9 and back to 12. Make a timeline that is also circular but in a square format for text and or images. For example, document the four seasons in a Square timeline.
Activity 5 – Timeline of Electricity
The discovery of electricity is eye-opening as today, most of the world has access to its power to give us light 24 hours a day! But it was discovered early on in the sparks that fly from static electricity of rubbing things together. Ben Franklin flew a kite in 1780 connected to a key to attract the energy of lightning! Mark the major dates of the evolution of electricity and when cities and homes moved from gas lighting to electric.
Activity 6 – Timelines of Indoor Plumbing
How long have humans had indoor plumbing? It may surprise you that the Romans had indoor plumbing for centuries, but after the empire’s decline, people used the out-of-doors as their toilet! Research the importance of indoor plumbing and the sanitation it offers us today.
Activity 7 – The Timeline of You!
Pick your type of timeline and make a timeline of events in your life that are important to you. List the date that you were born, when you sat up, when you walked, when you talked! When did you start school? When did you start to draw or write? When did you have brothers or sisters? When did you get a pet? SO many things can recorded in a timeline of your life. Even liking a new food can be a timeline event. Taking trips with your family can open up new places. Learning to ride a bike, participating in sports or other activities, or experiencing something that really opened up new things to think about are key in a life. Record important events in your life to date.
- Architecture Time Line
- Art History Timeline
- Bio Interactives Gorongosa Timeline
- Brief Timeline of Flight
- Britannica Timeline of Inventions
- Car Design Time line
- History of Fashion Design Timeline
- Italian Car Design Timeline
- PBS Technology Timeline
- Smithsonian Timeline of Human Evolution
- Timeline of Electricity
- TImeline of Flight
- TImeline of Human Inventions