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Charley Williams and Granddaughter, Age 94

[Detail] Charley Williams and Granddaughter, Age 94

Preparation | Procedure | Evaluation | Students

Lesson Procedure

Unit Five: Creating Timelines

Students learn how to compile and organize information, develop and present timelines.

  1. Have the class compile a list of all of the research topics examined.
  2. Students brainstorm the themes that unite several of the projects. For example, films of the 1920s, musical films of the 1930s, women and the blues, swing dance, and vaudeville all fit the theme of entertainment. The topics of doctors in World War I, army nurses, the polio scare, and women nurses in the early 1900s, would fit a theme of health and medicine. Other possible themes might be sports, domestic life in the 1940s, World War II, transportation, or scientific advances.
  3. Students with topics united by a common theme form groups and share their information.
  4. Each student group creates a timeline including important events in their lives and the lives of their grandparents/elders, as well as important events and people of the period.
  5. Sources of all images should be included. Add the citation to the timeline when the image is found to avoid the difficulty of relocating the citation information at a later time.
  6. Share the completed timelines with the class. Another idea is to invite those interviewed to share the results of the project.


The lesson may be further extended by creating a class archive of transcripts, history research papers, and visuals. For example, students may:

  1. Create a file or a Web site of the interview transcripts.
  2. Photograph the posters or models created by students as visuals for the oral presentations and add them to the archive.
  3. Use a digital camera or scan photographs of the visuals, and add them to the archive.
  4. Prepare a presentation or display for "Grandparents' Day," in your school, using the archive of transcripts, history research papers, and visuals.