Your challenge this week is to create a “Timeline of Events” as a primary source to represent important events from a selected span of time. As a first step, today you will make a list of important events from a time in your life and put them in order.

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Now it’s time to think about your life!

  • What would you include in a timeline of your own life?

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You’re going to make a list of important events from a time in your life. You can make your list on a piece of paper, or use the “Important Events from My Life” handout if you like.


Include at least 7-10 events on your list. Use the suggestions below to get started.

  • Select any time period (your whole life, this past year, this past month)

  • Think about special events or memories from that time period

  • Consider important things you have learned or done during that time period

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Make your list! Once you are finished, check to see that you listed your events in the order they happened.

Learn more about how timelines help us understand history. Explore this timeline of world history on the “TimeMaps” website.

  • Look at the map and scroll down to see the timelines below.

  • What time period does this show us?

  • What ancient civilizations are represented here?

  • What can we learn from this?

Explore other timelines from the “TimeMaps” website!

TIMELINES INQUIRY

DAY 1 ACTIVITY

Exploring Timelines

15-20 Minutes

  • Explore different types of timelines

  • Make a list of important events from a time in your life and put them in order

THIS WEEK

We’re thinking about the question: How can we create a historical record of important events?

Your challenge this week is to create a “Timeline of Events” as a primary source to represent important events from a selected span of time.

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What is this an image of?

What do you think we might learn from this image?

What information is represented here?

Let's Get Started!

Let’s look at some other examples of timelines.

timeline: 

a list of events that happened in the past, including when they happened and in what order they happened


primary source (also called an original source):

a source of information about events in the past, created by someone who lived during that time and experienced those events


secondary source:

a source of information about events in the past, created by someone who did not experience those events

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This timeline tells us about the history of bicycles. It shows us when the bicycle was invented and what it was called. 


By looking at these images in order of year, we can understand how bicycle design has changed over time.

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This image shows a timeline created by the Kiowa people to record their history.


Timelines like these are called winter counts. They use symbols painted on an animal hide (skin) to represent important events.


In the Kiowa winter count, two symbols represent each year, and they appear in order. This record was a way for the community’s historian to remember events of the past. Some people also kept a winter count to tell about their own life.

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This is an important historical record called the Bayeu (sounds like BY - yoo) Tapestry.


This is one of many pieces of the tapestry, or cloth, that tells the story of the Norman Conquest of England long ago.


Pictures are sewn into the fabric in order to tell the events leading up to the conquest.

Look back at the different timelines you just learned about. Ask yourself:

  • Which do you think is a primary source?

  • Which do you think is a secondary source?

  • How is a primary source timeline different from a secondary source timeline?

  • How can timelines help us understand history?

Ready for Day 2?

On day 2, you will make a draft of your “Timeline of Events.”

The picture above is an example of a timeline. Timelines help us understand history.


Some timelines are primary sources and others are secondary sources.