Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media
Students will research and create a timeline for a chosen topic.
I can:

Place events in a timeline in chronological order.

Tech Skills:
  • Drag and drop

Materials and Resources:
  • Introductory video for timeline creation (included in lesson plan)

  • Print or digital research materials

  • Timeline template (provided in lesson plan) or craft supplies for making a timeline, such as construction paper.

  • Digital timeline maker from ReadWriteThink.Org, which can be found here.


Grade Level:
  • 3rd-5th Grades

Subject Area:
  • Social Studies


Activity 1

Depending on how much time you have to spend, this activity can take one class period to multiple class periods. Adjust the creation of the timeline to fit your needs.

  • Introduce timelines to your students with an interest catching video. Click here for a brief introductory video that is appropriate for students in grades 3-5.

  • Have students create a list of events from their own lives.

  • These events can include date of birth, starting school, fun trips, joining sports teams, birthdates of younger siblings, etc.

  • Have students transfer these events onto a timeline template, such as this one from Scholastic,

  • Or, you may wish to provide students with appropriate materials to begin creating a timeline project. These can include craft materials such as construction paper, scissors, string, and glue.
    • If making the timeline a larger project, discuss proper timeline creation, including units of time, such organizing the timeline by years since it will span the life of each student. You may also wish to discuss measuring to scale so the separation of dates on the timeline is reasonable.

  • Allow students sufficient time to complete the timelines before collecting them.

Activity 2

This activity may take multiple class periods to complete, but will be necessary to continue with the digital timeline activity.

  • Based on your grade level’s standards, choose a topic for research. The topic should be related to dates in history.

  • Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups, depending on your available time and needs.

  • Allow students time to work with print or digital research materials to gather enough dates for a timeline.

  • Considering the amount of time you wish to spend on the activity, offer students a minimum and maximum number of important dates.

  • Have students visit’s digital timeline maker, which can be found here

  • Students can create events to add to the timeline.

  • After adding all necessary events, students will adjust the placement of events by dragging and dropping them to the appropriate location.

  • Remind students to consider the span of events and how to reasonably space the events along the timeline.

  • It is best if students can complete this activity in one sitting. However, students are able to save a copy of the timeline by downloading it. Students can then open the file when they return to the website at a later date. Completed timelines can be saved or printed from the website.

Practice Activity

Additionally, students can work using drag and drop skills in other programs to make timelines. Future projects could be completed using textboxes in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or similar products.


Ohio Social Studies Standards

Historical Thinking and Skills Strand

Grade 3 Content Statement 1: Events in local history can be shown on timelines organized by years, decades and centuries.

Grade 4 Content Statement 1: The order of significant events in Ohio and the United States can be shown on a timeline.

Grade 5 Content Statement 1:Multiple-tier timelines can be used to show relationships among events and places.

Supplementary Resources: is an assessment maker which provides teachers with a variety of question types, including drag and drop options.

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