Personal Time Lines
…Time line paper
Group presentation: Show the empty time line.
“This time line can represent how long you have lived or the lives of your family. You can decide how much time you want each unit to be. Why don’t you start with a time line for your parent(s)?.”
The child will see that counting out the days or months of a year will be too long for a parent and will probably settle into one unit per year.
1. My family
The child can cut out time lines to represent him/herself and one for each member of the family along a straight line at the top of the page. These are placed vertically down the paper. They can write each name at the top of each time line. The child’s own name is written in color. Since each strip is one year, make a darker line to mark in each ten years to make counting easier. The child’s time line should be to the left. Have parents next, brothers and sisters and then a grandparent. Have child turn the time line horizontally. The straight line that all the TL’s sit on is now the present and it is possible to see how much longer the grandparents and parents have lived than the children, etc.
2. My family by age
Now paste each family member in chronological order. Now you can see who is oldest, youngest, etc.
3. The history of my birthdays
The teacher prepares a time line representing at least seven years with the names of the months from January to December written in. Now the unit of time becomes a month.”During what month were you born? Each year, you have a birthday on the same day of the same month. Put a star on your month for every year.” Now the child can count how many months until her/his birthday.
4. A history of the child
The teacher prepares a time line representing each year of the child’s life with space to write something about each year. This should be a family project where the child asks the parents questions about parents’ or grandparents’ memories about him/her. A picture can be used for each year. Time line can be made on blocks of cardboard, taped and folded like a fan.
Writing should be age appropriate: a sentence or two for a first year child, several for second, a paragraph to a page for third.
Direct aim: to understand the concept of a time line as a representation of events that have take place; to give the child a sense of the history of themselves in relationship with their family.
Indirect aim: To prepare for historical time lines.
Extensions: This lesson should be given to the child at age 6. A good parallel exercise is for second to make a family tree and grandparent interview. Third can write an autobiography.