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 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 your list is complete, check to see that you listed  your events in chronological order.

Learn more about the Bayeux Tapestry and all the different parts of the story it tells by visiting “Britain's Bayeux Tapestry at the Reading Museum” website.

  • When was the Bayeux Tapestry created?

  • What story does the Bayeux Tapestry tell us?

  • Where is it displayed?

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


chronological: 

in order of time


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 illustrates when each bicycle was invented, what each model was called, then displays these images in chronological order by the year they were created. 


By looking at the images in this timeline, 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 chronological order. This record was kept as a way for the community’s oral historian to document history. Some people also kept a personal winter count to record events from their own life.

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This is an important historical record, the Bayeux (pronounced BY - yoo) Tapestry.


This embroidered tapestry, or decorated cloth, tells the story of the Norman Conquest of England long ago.


Pictures were sewn into the fabric in chronological 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?

  • What limitations do timelines have in telling us about 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 by displaying events in chronological order.  


Some timelines are primary sources and others are secondary sources.