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How to Make a Timeline

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Timelines of American History

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A Walk Through Time
Jamestown Colony Timeline

Part 1: Timeline Basics

How do people keep track of things that happen on certain days or in certain years? They make a timeline.

For example, Maria's parents want to keep track of important things in her life. They decide to make a timeline. Maria is born in 1993. She walks for the first time in 1995, when she is 2. The next year, she says her first words. And in 1998, she celebrates her fifth birthday. Her parents can keep track of all these things by putting them on a timeline like the one at the right.

See how the events that happened first are at the bottom? Then, as you move toward the top, the event that happened next is next as you move up the line. The last event is at the top.

Putting events on a timeline like this gives you a sense of how much time goes by in between each event. It also helps you remember just when those important things happened. Years from now, when Maria has her own children, she might want to remember when she first walked. She can look at this timeline that her parents made and remember that when she first walked, she was 2.


Next page > Timelines in History > Page 1, 2 

Graphics courtesy of David White

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