For those of you just joining our series on Beyond Five in a Row, we have covered an introduction, practical planning tips and supplemental resources thus far. Today I’m going to share with you the importance of a timeline.
A timeline is a very important tool for helping pull a unit study together. You can purchase the Five in a Row Digital Timeline or you can make your own. A timeline can be as simple as a notebook, binder or scrapbook with each page representing 50 or 100 years. You may want to create an adjustable scale timeline covering 100 years per page up until perhaps 1700. Then cover 25 years per page up to 1850 and further expand the detail of your timeline by only covering 10 years per page through the year 2000. Whether you purchase the Five in a Row Digital Timeline or create your own, the important concept is to help your student begin to locate the place that each person or event has in history. Everything is either before or after something else. The Spanish Armada was sunk after Columbus discovered the new world, but before the pilgrims landed at
Plymouth Rock. Each time your student writes down an entry or looks up a date in his timeline, he will begin making those associations of time relationship. He will also begin to discover what things were happening parallel in history; what music was being written at the same time as which war was being fought all while certain scientific discoveries were being made. The world is all inter-connected and timelines are one of the very best ways of grasping the big picture so important in a good education! At Five in a Row, we feel fairly strongly that it is an event’s relative place in history that is more critical than the date itself. Don’t get caught up in the memorization of facts and lose sight of the big picture.
P.S. The Five in a Row Digital Timeline is perfect for any age group! I have it for my children, ages 6 & 10 and will use it for many years for each! ~ Melissa Crabtree, Five in a Row Community Manager