Lesson Plan

Pinning Up the Past: Using Timelines

Overall Rating

Add your review
Grade Level:
Third Grade-Eighth Grade
Civil War, Government, History, Leadership, Military and Wartime History, Reconstruction, Slavery, U.S. Presidents
1 hour
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Tennessee Social Studies Standards:
3.5.01, 3.5.03, 4.5.12 Era 4
Common Core State Standards:
ELA Literacy:RI.3.5, RI.3.7
ELA Literacy SL3.1 - SL8.1
ELA Literacy SL3.4 - SL8-4
president, andrew johnson, impeachment, history, Slavery, U.S. Constitution, timeline


Students will complete a scavenger hunt for information using primary sources gathered from two of the physical locations at Andrew Johnson National Historic Site. Information the students gather will be used to create an interactive timeline of events in Johnson’s life. This activity works best with an on-site visit to Andrew Johnson National Historic Site.


1) The students will organize informational text to depict the events in Andrew Johnson’s life.


Andrew Johnson National Historic Site offers multiple primary resources to share the story of Andrew Johnson as he rose from a runaway apprentice to a political leader. These resources provide an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in several content areas, including social studies, reading and language arts.



This lesson is completed in two parts. Part one utilizes the Timeline Scavenger Hunt Student Worksheet (2 pages). A teacher answer sheet is also provided; Part two utilizes the completed Timeline Scavenger Hunt Student Worksheets, the Large Timeline Graphics, and the Teacher Page for Creating the Timeline which includes discussion questions. The timeline is created with a clothesline and clothes pins. Copies of the Timeline Scavenger Hunt Student Worksheet, Teacher Answer Sheet, Large Timeline Graphics and Teacher Page for Creating a Timeline should be downloaded and printed before the lesson takes place. If you are planning to implement this lesson on-site, contact a park ranger for use of the clothesline and clothes pins.



Assess student understanding by completion of activity pages, proper placement of timeline cards, and analysis of informational texts.


Park Connections

The significance of the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site to our country’s cultural heritage is in the reflection of the 17th President’s modest and humble lifestyle. This is demonstrated in the parks museum collection, historic furnishings and the architecture of the buildings that the President once owned. Rising from the ranks of the working class, Andrew Johnson overcame many obstacles so that he could influence and champion the cause of the working people. This theme is preserved in the tailoring artifacts and shop exhibited at the site. Students will utilize the primary resources available from the sites to determine the significance of events in Johnson’s life and his impact on American history.


After completing the timeline for Andrew Johnson’s life, students may wish to research and create a timeline for another past president’s life. Students may then compare and contrast the events of the two.


chronological, impeachment, apprenticeship, emancipation, veto, monument

Last updated: April 14, 2015