Timelines for Teaching History

I thought I’d share one of the big projects I’ve been working on recently. For as long as we’ve been studying history, I’ve always kept some sort of timeline as we work our way through historical events.  Back when I was in school, I don’t remember doing history in any real chronological order, so I never made the connection about what events were happening around the same time or how certain events were the cause of others. Because it all seemed so random and meaningless, I never had much interest in it. Keeping a timeline of events has been as helpful to me as it has been to the kids. It has allowed us to make so many connections about how things happened the way they did.  I’ve done it in a variety of ways over the years. For the last two years, as we’ve studied American history, I’ve had a simple notebook that we add cards to as we study a particular event.  Next year, we’re going to be starting at the beginning of a three-year cycle of world history (ancient, medieval, and modern), so I wanted to come up with a new way to “walk through” our history timeline as we learn. Josh introduced me to an app on the iPad called “Keynote” that allows you to make slide shows and I was instantly inspired. I’ve spent hours and hours for the last two months creating a world history timeline for all three years of the history cycle. I’m very close to finishing it and have nearly 300 slides!  The kids have been looking over my shoulder and are intrigued by my project. They can’t wait to see it when it’s completed and to start learning about all these fascinating things that have taken place.


This is is our current timeline notebook for American History.


Here’s an example for what I’ve been working on with Keynote.


You can flip through one at a time with the slide of your finger, or open the sidebar to find a specific slide.



I’m so excited to use this with the kids next year and hopefully for many years to come (I’ve got several back-ups saved, just in case).





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