Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Time Is of the Essence

Chryste Carroll


ESE students identify the evolution of the civil rights movement from slavery to present day and then use information about major events to create a timeline.


The student understands chronology (for example, knows how to construct and label a timeline of events).


-Transparency of timeline
-Student activity sheet Timeline for each student
-Student cut and paste information sheet for each student
-Scissors for each student
-Glue stick for each student


1. Obtain overhead projector.
2. Create transparency of timeline for overhead projector.
3. Create student copies of timelines.
4. Create copies of cut and paste activity sheets.
5. Obtain scissors and glue sticks.


1. Share a timeline of your own life and explain it as told or written in chronological order.

2. Explain to the students what is meant by chronological order. Provide students practice putting four digit numbers in order. Provide students with practice putting events in order, such as those in a story just read by the class or well-known holidays of the year.

3. Ask students to line up in chronological order according to their birthdates. Doing this, you can relate the students to a human timeline. Then, demonstrate the timeline using a transparency on an overhead projector to "bring it home" for the class.

4. Asks students what they know about the civil rights movement. Use a
K-W-L chart, located in the associated file, to make notes of what the students know.

5. Explain the objective of the lesson to students that they will create a timeline of the events involved in the civil rights movement.

6. Distribute an activity sheet identifying ten major events in the history of the civil rights movement along with the date on which each event occurred. Explain to the students that they are to use this information to cut and paste events and dates to label a timeline of the events in chronological order.


The students apply information to construct a timeline for a topic. The final product of the constructed timeline with 80% of events labeled in chronological order can be used as a formative assessment.


1. Students may select a topic of their choice on which to create a timeline.
2. Students may research a person in whom they are interested to create a timeline of that person's life.
3. You may ask questions such as how many years between certain noteworthy events to assist in the students' perspective of time.
4. You may discuss major events of any timeline you choose and the significance of each event.

Attached Files

Time Line Key.     File Extension:  pdf

Timeline activity sheets.     File Extension:  pdf

K-W-L Chart.     File Extension:  pdf
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.