Timelines provide students with a concrete way to study an abstract subject: changes over time. From paper and pencil to online, the basic process of matching a series of dates to a content theme hasn't changed. In this Surf Report you'll find timelines covering a wide swath of history, as well as online applications that help students to create their own timelines with everything from simple text to full-motion video.
At the Internet "4" Classrooms site you'll find an exhaustive list of pre-created timelines grouped by content area.
From the Dolan DNA Learning Center, this timeline details the discovery and usage of DNA. It also provides an excellent example of an interactive timeline by making use of many different kinds of media, including primary source material such as filmed interviews.
Hyperhistory provides a layered timeline with options for viewing People, History, Events, or Maps. By clicking on a link within the timeline, an information window opens providing a summary look at the subject matter, which in turn provides links to even more detailed sites.
NASA has put together a fantastic, child-friendly, history of the organization. Complete with robot guide, period music, and an auto-play or interactive mode, this comprehensive exploration of the history of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is sure to both educate and entertain young and old alike.
The creative minds at National Geographic have put together an interactive timeline that complements their IMAX movie Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (2007). While the movie may no longer be in circulation, the timeline continues to provide students with insight into where and when the largest predators of the seas lived.
Wonderfully detailed and easy to use and understand, this timeline from the BBC provides your middle and high school students with everything they ever wanted to know about British history, from the Neolithic era to the present.
If the timeline above is too in-depth for your students, the BBC has also created a timeline for younger audiences here.
The Institute on Human Origins brings us a timeline tracking evolution through the use of bone and skull fragment images. By clicking on any of the images, students can discover the very basics about each find or continue on for a more in-depth discussion.
Readwritethink.org provides an ad-free timeline creation tool along with graphing and non-fiction text lesson plans.
Dipity is one of the better known timeline creation websites. Incredibly versatile, Dipity makes it easy for your students to incorporate images, sounds, and other multimedia into their timelines. Dipity is only ad-free with a paid account, and timelines created there can be embedded on other websites.
xtimeline provides a unique look and feel to their presentation, with a cascade of information flowing vertically. Events are added to the timeline, and descriptive windows with graphic icons appear when students click on an event. Accounts are free and content is currently ad-free.
At Our Story, the Internet Time Machine, the timeline creator allows students to work collaboratively with their friends and/or family on Facebook, embed pictures, audio, and video, and then share it on their profile.
Timetoast provides another free timeline generator (with account sign-up). Its unique take on timelines puts events into moving talking bubbles. These bubbles can then be clicked on to open a larger window with information texts, graphics, etc.
Using colored bars to represent the length of an event, Preceden takes a more traditional approach to the look and feel of a timeline. Accounts are free and currently contain no ads.
TimeGlider is a data-driven interactive timeline application built on the (Adobe) Flash platform. You can "grab" the timeline and drag it left and right, and zoom in and out to view centuries at a time or just hours. TimeGlider allows you to create event-spans so that you can see durations and how they overlap. Being web-based, TimeGlider lets you collaborate and share easily. TimeGlider provides a tutorial for getting started, and has a unique New York Times search engine which creates timelines based on articles about any particular subject.
Last updated 5/24/12