Last week I asked the 4th grade chair what skills that they might want me to cover over the next couple of weeks. She mentioned that she needed the students to complete a timeline of events leading up to the Revolutionary War. In the back of my mind I remembered something about timelines on World Book Online and when I checked there is a very easy to use timeline generator.
First Create Student Accounts in World Book Online
First I had to have each student create an individual account in World Book Online, which was easy but time consuming for 4th grade students. This took about 15-20 minutes by the time everyone gets their tablets up and running, logged on, connected to the internet, keyboards plugged in, blah, blah, blah! For 2 classes I went into the classroom and used the interactive board to demonstrate how to fill in the blanks and the students followed along. I did it in the library for the other 2 classes and think it worked better in the classroom, partly because it is a smaller space and I could get around to help the students more easily.
Creating a Timeline Is Fun and Easy
After they had their accounts, I demonstrated how to use the World Book Timeline. It is easy to search the encyclopedia’s content for events and add them to a timeline, but it also very easy to create your own event. I showed them how to add images and edit any event. They really enjoyed it and I think the previous experience they have gained throughout the year making PowerPoints and Prezis in the library (saving images, finding out how to ascertain the owner of the image’s rights, etc) paid off by increasing their skill in navigating this digital tool.
World Book Online Timeline is Versatile
This timeline generator is so versatile in that you can take advantage of the massive amount of data in the encyclopedia, but you can also use your own content to create timelines. I showed them how to print the timelines, but I guess I’m a little disappointed that there is no way to share the timelines (sharing links, emailing links, etc.). But, I understand as this tool is only available to subscribers and they need to protect their product. I will definitely being sharing this to other grade levels (probably just 3rd and 5th grades).