Timelines are a great way to create a summary of someone. Our fourth graders are working on learning about the Lost Colony in North Carolina, so they asked if I could work with the kids on learning about Sir Walter Raleigh a bit more in depth. I decided to use this as an opportunity to also work with the kids on finding important information in an article and creating timelines. We started off as a group and I modeled adding a couple of dates. Then, we talked about how to add events that were important, but didn't have a specific date in the article by locating what other events came before or after and making a best guess where it might fall on the timeline. The timelines also helped the kids think about numbers when we talked about having to estimate where the years would fall on the timeline, rather than just putting them anywhere, why there might be a long space at the beginning with no events, and how they begin and end unless the person is still alive. This was also a good way for the kids to break an article down into important events. I am thinking about maybe using the timelines next time to create a project of some sort, but have not decided what yet. (Edited below to add our follow up!) Here are some of the kids working on reading the articles and creating their timelines.
online timeline from ReadWriteThink to type and print the timelines.