Uncle Reuben lived to be 100 years old; “and 1 month,” a student would usually remind me. What a great number for 2nd graders! Time-lines were being introduced in the math chapter we were working on so we decided to make a timeline display of Reuben’s life. We would be able to develop skills for working with time-lines as well as number lines. I had a few pictures to contribute to the board and stapled a strip of white paper, marked off in 5 year segments, and the pictures to the board for them. A second strip was placed below to represent the 10 years of travel that he did starting in 1924. I then began handing the project over to a group of students.
Every child in the class illustrated some part of Uncle Reuben’s journeys. The group began organizing the pictures. I noticed some girls working with the illustration cards on the carpet one day. Our carpet has a large map of the United States on it. They were placing the illustrations on that giant map and telling the story of his journeys to each other. It was interesting to see what they remembered and whether or not they could find the places on a different type of map. (They could!)
The timeline became a very useful tool and was referred to often when a date would show up in something we were reading.