Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Travel Back in Time

Sandi King
Bay District Schools


Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? This introductory lesson for the unit In Days of Old, Before Columbus, emphasizes use of a timeline with students developing their own timelines. Students view a Student Web Lesson, Travel to Days of Old, which gives an overview of the Middle Ages.


The student reads and interprets a single timeline identifying the order of events (for example, in ancient times).


- Power Point for this lesson from the unit's associated files
- Presentation System
- Teacher Information downloaded from the associated files
- Timelines downloaded from the associated files
- Timeline transparencies or posters, made from documents in the associated files
- Overhead projector
- Online Student Web Lesson, Travel to Days of Old (See Weblinks)
- Variety of graphics downloaded from the associated files
- Vocabulary cards made from the vocabulary in the associated files (These vocabulary cards can be used during Working With Words procedures. Suggestions are in the associated files.)
-Diagnostic Assessment, In Days of Old, K-W-L Chart, downloaded from the unit's associated files (See Extensions)
- Books from the suggested reading list in the associated files
- The Student Information Checklist from the unit's associated files (one per student)


1. Download the associated files. These files contains a wealth of information and graphics, so it will take some time to download.

2. Become familiar with the background information given in the associated files. While participating in unit activities, you will need this knowledge in order to relate to students why people behaved as they did and why events occurred as they did. The purpose of giving teacher background information is to increase the teacher's knowledge bank, not to provide lecture material.

3. Further information may be obtained by checking the Weblinks given.

4. Become familiar with the unit summative assessment from the unit's associated files.

5. Make transparencies or posters of the timelines from the associated files.

6. Make posters of the graphics from the associated files. If a color transparency maker is available, these graphics would make nice transparencies.

7. Preview the online Student Web Lesson, Travel to Days of Old. A link is available from the Weblinks section of this lesson plan.

8. Make vocabulary word cards. Word and several suggested activities are in the associated files.

9. Locate books from the list in the assocaited files. These may be teacher read-alouds, student silent readings, or directed reading selections.

10. Download, print, and duplicate the diagnostic assessment (K-W-L) from the unit's associated files for each student. See Extensions for the link to the unit and assessments.

11. Become familiar with the SiteMaker site for possible use as an alternative form of publishing various summative writings. Be sure to register for use by completing the form on the site. Students' finished writings will have an appropriate graphic and will be published to the World Wide Web.

12. Become familiar with the PowerPoint created for this lesson. The PowerPoint is an excellent way to grab student attention with the captivating graphics. It has been designed so that each day has its own pictures and review section. The PowerPoint for this lesson is attached to the unit plan. See the Extensions section of this lesson plan for a link to the unit and the assessments. The PowerPoint can be downloaded directly to your desktop by going to FILE and SAVE AS and then designating it to go to the desktop. Once it has been saved, the PowerPoint can be opened from the desktop. If you are unable to download it to your desktop, then you can still view it from the Beacon Site by using the UP/DOWN arrows located on the right of the PowerPoint on your screen or by clicking the mouse into the center of the slide.

13. If you are unable to download or view the PowerPoint, check with your Media Specialist or Site Based Tech.

14. Procure a Presentation System (AV computer and TV) so that students can view the PowerPoint.

15. Download, print, and duplicate the The Student Information Checklist from the unit's associated files as it will be a helpful reminder to both the teacher and students of content taught.


Note: This is the first of four lesson plans for the unit, In Days of Old, Before Columbus. This lesson plans serves as an introduction.

1. Students complete the diagnostic K-W-L from the unit's associated files. This diagnostic tool will help identify the student's prior knowledge as well as give the teacher information about individual needs. This assessment is then used by the student to record new knowledge as the unit progresses. Since the reading level of this information is above regular third grade level, teachers are encouraged to read the assessment questions to the students. No further assistance should be given.

2. Display Timeline #1 either as a poster or transparency (individual copies for the students may be desired), or use the PowerPoint as a visual aid to gain and to keep student attention. The Student Information Checklist may be helpful as well. Assist students in completing the timeline by discussing the interval of years depicted by each point on the line. Also address the meaning of the arrows at each end of the line as an indication that there is time before and after the specific time on this timeline.

3. Have students make a timeline of their life beginning with the year that they were born and progressing until this year. Teachers should model by making a timeline on the board or overhead for students to use as a reference. Remember to include the arrows at each end since there was time before they were born and time after today.

* Students divide their lines into equal sections with each section depicting one year of their lives. This can provide practice in measurement with each year depicted by one inch on the timeline.

* Students plot events in their lives on their timelines. Events could include birth of a sibling, vacations, grades in school, hospital stays, marriage of parent, etc.

* Gives formative feedback to assist individuals in successfully completing their timeline. Individual timelines can be displayed.

4. Now that students have been introduced to a timeline and concepts of time, introduce the Middle Ages by presenting the timelines downloaded from the associated files. Use the PowerPoint as a visual aid to gain and to keep student attention. The Student Information Checklist may be helpful as well. Please see Preparation for further information. If you are unable to view the PowerPoint, transparencies or posters may be used.

5. Discuss sources of information about the Middle Ages. Since there are no longer any people alive that can give us first hand knowledge of their lives, we must get information from books, Internet, or other reference materials. Show some of the Internet sites that are provided in this plan.

6. Present the online student lesson, Travel to Days of Old. This should be done as a whole class activity with the opportunity for discussion as the Student Web Lesson proceeds. A link to this Student Web Lesson is available from the Weblinks section of this lesson plan.


The diagnostic assessment will be given prior to the beginning of the unit instruction. See the Procedure section of this lesson plan for instructions.

Since this is an introductory lesson, no summative assessment will be included. A formative assessment of the students as information managers and their understanding of a timeline will be completed as students develop their personal timeline. Formative feedback should be given to correct any misconceptions in the development of a timeline as well as to affirm correct understanding.


1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

2. The software Castle Explorer by DK (Scholastic) may be helpful.

3. Times indicated may vary according to the uniqueness of each class.

4. The Student Information Checklist available from the unit's asociated files, will be useful to the teacher to make sure important information is covered. The teacher may wish to copy this for student use.

Web Links

Students are introduced to the Middle Ages as they follow a troubadour's story.
Travel to Days of Old

A very descriptive site for the Middle Ages.
Exhibit - Town Life

A French site that has a calendar collection that depicts Medieval life. Scroll to the bottom to find the collection of calendar graphics.

A good site for learning about Robin Hood.
Robin Hood

A source of information about the Crusades.
The Crusades and the Rise of Islam

Attached Files

Teacher Information     File Extension: pdf

Vocabulary     File Extension: pdf

Timelines     File Extension: pdf

Literature Connection     File Extension: pdf

Graphics     File Extension: pdf

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