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WritingFix: A Family Writing Project...The Personal Timeline
 

A Family Writing Project Idea from WritingFix
Focus Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT Trait Skill: MOST IMPORTANT DETAILS

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The Personal Timeline

This writing lesson was created by Nevada teacher Kim Polson. Kim believes this family writing project would be appropriate with students in grades 1-12.


Three-Sentence Overview:


5th grader Emona displays the first five cards of the timeline she made with her family.

The students will create personal timelines representing key events that have happened in their lives. Together, with their parents, they will have a chance to recount the important life-shaping memories of their past and present. The students will focus on writing the MOST IMPORTANT details of each event in a timeline format.


6-Trait Skill Focus:

Word Choice: 1) Incorporating interesting adjectives into the writing well, especially using words that convey intended mood and tone; 2) Using strong verbs to keep the sentences interesting; 3) Using precise nouns to assist the reader’s understanding.

Idea Development: 1) Choosing interesting, high-quality details to write with when describing important events; 2) Selecting a unique approach to explore a topic; 3) Including the most important topics.


Materials List:

  • Samples of timelines
  • Large index cards (6-17 for each child, depending on age of students)
  • Timeline rubric for grading

Teacher Instructions:

  • Explain to students what a timeline is: A timeline is a graphic organizer that helps a reader quickly understand the significance and sequence of events that took place during a fixed period of time in the past. Timelines help to indicate key dates and events that define a period of time.
  • Show students examples of various timelines (easily found in Social Studies books).
  • Give students the instruction sheet (below).
  • Each student will need one large index card for each year of his/her life. They will need an additional two cards so they can make a Name Card for the beginning of their timeline and a Future Card (what they see in their future) for the end of their timeline.
  • You will want to be very specific on what you expect for each card. Here is a link to the rubric which I use: Timeline rubric
  • Show a sample of at least one card which shows the students what it is you are expecting from them.
  • Have students bring the cards back in a stack. When you are finished grading them they can attach them to a long strip of paper in timeline form. A roll of paper is very easy to attach the cards to.

Parent/Student Instruction Sheet:

A timeline is a graphic organizer that helps a reader quickly understand the significance and sequence of events that took place during a fixed period of time in the past. Timelines help to indicate key dates and events that define a period of time.

Your project is to create your own timeline representing key events that have happened in your life.

You will receive one card for each year of your life. You must pick an event during each year that somehow represents who you have become as a person. These will vary for each person.

Each card must have the year on it as well as a detailed explanation of why that event represents a significant point in your life. You then must “illustrate” each card. You may use pictures, drawings, clip art, paintings, stickers, etc..

This project will be worth 50 points. Your grade will be based on the actual entries, complete and detailed sentences, a visual for each entry year of your life , clear start and end, and work quality.

This is a project you will want to keep for the future so please take time and pride when completing it.

Due Date: ____________


Positive Impacts on Parents/Students/Families:

Students and parents will have a chance to recount the important details and events of the student’s life. They will recreate memories while focusing on writing organized entries which contain high quality details.


Links to Similar Lessons at WritingFix:

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