Field Trips

Pinning Up the Past: Using timelines

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Social Studies
Common Core Standards:
3.RI.5, 3.RI.7, 3.SL.1.a, 3.SL.1.b, 3.SL.1.c, 3.SL.1.d, 3.SL.4, 8.SL.1.a, 8.SL.1.b, 8.SL.1.c, 8.SL.1.d, 8.SL.4


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.


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 onsite, contact a park ranger for use of the clothesline and clothes pins.


Part 1: Scavenger Hunt

Divide students into suggested groups of 3. Give each group a Timeline Scavenger Hunt Worksheet (attached in this lesson plan) . Explain to the students how the questions correspond to the titles of exhibits in and around the Early Home and inside the Visitor Center Museum area. Give students 15 minutes to complete each side of the Timeline Scavenger Hunt worksheet. This part of the lesson should take 30 minutes total.



Part 2: Create the Timeline


Students will work in small teams. Students or teacher can set up the timeline (clothesline and clothes pins) at the Homestead (items are available for loan from the park rangers). The students will use the information from their Timeline Scavenger Hunt worksheet to fill in the blanks on the large cards to be displayed on the timeline (cards may be printed out in this lesson or borrowed from park rangers). When each group has filled in the blank for their card, the students will present their information to the whole group, and then place it in the correct location on the timeline. Once all the cards are displayed on the timeline, the groups will answer questions about the timeline (print out the teacher answer page with discussion questions in this lesson).





Student Worksheet for Timeline Activity

Download Timeline - Scavenger Hunt Worksheet

Teacher Answer Page for Timeline Scavenger Hunt

Download Answers to Timeline Scavenger Hunt

Graphics to Place on the Timeline

Download Timeline Graphics

Teacher Instructions for Timeline Activity and Facilitating Discussion

Download Teacher Instructions for Creating Timeline

Last updated: June 17, 2015