A common complaint from children trying to learn history is that they can’t keep all the dates and names straight. Timelines are an excellent way to visually instill this information in an organized manner that helps kids memorize what they need to know. The History Through the Ages timeline materials allow students to compile their own timelines, thus further enhancing the memory element.
There are a couple of options for making your own timelines: the print version comes ready to assemble for one student, while the digital version needs to be printed but can be used for multiple children. Four major historical epochs are covered in the four Timeline Figures packages (ancient history, Middle Ages and Renaissance, Enlightenment, and American history, roughly).
For the print version there is a large horizontal notebook with attractive, sturdy pages. Each page represents a number of years based on how many figures there are for that period. For instance, there are multiple figures for the 1860s, so this period is represented in multiple pages; there are fewer figures for 800 AD, so this period is covered on a single page. The figures are construction paper cutouts with black and white drawings and descriptive text that children paste in the appropriate spot on the timeline pages. If you want to avoid mistakes, the Suggested Placement Guide tells you exactly where each figure goes.
If you have multiple students, the digital option is far more affordable. The Printable Timeline Notebook contains PDFs of all the pages from the notebook so you can print separate pages for each child; the History Through the Ages CD-Rom contains printable PDFs of all the timeline figures from the four packages, as well as extra helps and bonus figures. Both horizontal and vertical formats are available for printing, and empty horizontal notebooks are available from the publisher.
You don’t want to use this as your complete history curriculum, but it makes an invaluable resource and supplement to nearly any program. When kids are allowed to make their own timeline, the events and people they’re learning about in their textbooks literally fall into place. Timelines tie information together and visually establish context, and the History Through the Ages materials do this better than any others we’ve seen.