Timetables tell a story about events that occur over time. Events can be shown in a table with columns and rows or along a line. A timetable can list a train schedule or show historical events and relations, such as the advent of walking and toolmaking during the course of human evolution. Illustrations or photos can help bring a story to life.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- White shelf paper
- Coloured pencils
- Used magazines
Make a list of the significant events you want to include on your timeline. A timetable on modes of transportation might begin with horses and continue to carriages, automobiles, steam engines, trains, aeroplanes and space travel.
Determine the date each event occurred so you can decide how to divide the timeline into time periods. For instance, the history of transportation covers approximately 4,000 years, beginning with the first humans to ride horses around 2100 B.C. and continuing to the first manned space flight in 1961. In this case, the timeline can be divided into 1,000-year increments.
Cut a piece of shelf paper 12 to 18 inches long, depending on the space you will have to display your finished project
Draw a horizontal line, or baseline, on the paper. Draw vertical lines along the baseline to separate eras or periods.
Draw vertical lines at the approximate points on the timeline when each event occurred. The timeline is relational and distances do not need to be exact. Write the date for each.
Draw or cut out pictures from magazines to represent each of the items shown on your timeline. Try to keep all the images about the same size.
Glue the images above the timeline corresponding to the date each event occurred.
Write the title of your timeline at the top or bottom centre of the paper.
Tips and warnings
- You can continue the timeline into the future to suggest events that have not yet occurred, such as intergalactic travel in this example. You can reinforce the story in this example by showing the timeline as a dirt path under horses and carriages, a paved road for automobiles, train tracks for trains, clouds for the aeroplane and stars and galaxies for space travel.
- Try tying two timelines together to help show relationships in nature. For example, on one timeline show the life of a banana plant from germination until it bears bananas that end up in a bowl; on the second timeline show the life of a fruit fly and its attraction to the banana.
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