Going Greek Timeline Mini-Project and Assessment by Miss Middle School Teacher
This assignment allows students to create a timeline and then authentically use it to answer application questions. If they created their timeline correctly, they will be able to answer the questions!
I use this with my middle schoolers after finishing our unit on Ancient Greece. We often focus on themes throughout our units rather than focusing on individual events. This mini-project allows students the opportunity to dig a bit deeper into the events of Ancient Greece and get practice making a timeline as well. There are quite a few events to be placed on this timeline! Planning and careful use of space will be important for students to do well.
I allow students to work alone or with a partner. I give them 3 full class periods to create their timeline in class. They are given the following directions:
You will be using this timeline to answer questions for
another assignment, so be sure to take your time and make it easy to read!
1. Tape two 12x18' pieces of construction paper together
2. Write a creative title at the top
3. Set up your intervals using a ruler
4. start with 2500 B.C. and end at A.D. 500
5. create intervals of 500 years
6. leave 6 inches between each 500 year increment
7. Carefully (using ruler) place each event on the timeline
8. start with events that have ranges
9. add individual events next
10. be sure to include the date(s) next to each event!
The best part about this assignment is that teachers don't have to grade for accuracy and check every little event. Here's why: The purpose of a timeline is for it to be easy to read and analyze. Events should be accurately placed within a number line of evenly spaced years. Writing should be easy to read and events easy to locate. I want to see if students can actually utilize their timeline. Does their final product serve its purpose?
So, I put together a list of 10 critical thinking/analysis questions that students must answer using only their newly created timeline. If they put their timeline together correctly, they should have no trouble answering the questions. If they rushed, incorrectly labeled information, or excluded information, they will have a hard time answering the questions. It is a great authentic assessment. They must apply what they've created in order to answer the questions. I then score their answers to the questions as a summative assessment. You could also use it as a discussion tool instead.
My students find it to be a challenging task! (Note: If students have not had practice with making timelines before, they may need some guidance to start. It might be a good idea to have them make a mini timeline of different events with you before tackling this timeline).
Included: Student timeline directions and event listings; Student assessment questions (student-friendly format to be copied); Teacher key to assessment questions.