Timeline/Sequence of Events Assignment

In our 3rd grade class, students are currently learning how to provide detail descriptions of events, experiences and processes by highlighting the steps or sequence of events involved in these. 

The task at hand requires students to construct their own sequence of events/timeline pertaining to an experience or process of their choosing through the use of an online student interactive.  

In order to illustrate the steps involved in a particular process, I will explain to students the process of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. For my introduction, I will engage the students in a shared activity that will consist of making a sandwich in front of the entire class and verbally walking the students through the step-by-step process. This will provide both, a visual and a verbal demonstration of the process as well as serve to activate students’ prior knowledge of a process/experience that many of them will already be familiar with. For students who are not familiar with the process of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the use of realia as well as the hands-on demonstration will provide a more solid understanding.

Once I conclude my introduction, I will explain to students that today we will be using an online “timeline” generator to create our own sequence of events for an event or experience of our choosing. I will use our “peanut butter and jelly sandwiches” shared experience to model the process.

I will then direct students’ attention to the projector and I will go on the readwritethink.org website to access the “timeline” student interactive. I will visually and verbally walk students through this process as well as provide detailed written instructions later in this lesson.

Once I have accessed the “timeline” student interactive, I will create my own sequence of events/steps involved in making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As this was a shared experience, I will ask for student input regarding the step-by-step process so that they can be actively involved in the lesson. As students volunteer or are called on to share their input, I will visually demonstrate how to create headings, captions and attach appropriate images to illustrate each of the steps (the images will have been pre-selected and saved on my computer prior to the lesson).  

Once students have become familiar with the “timeline” generator through the modeling process, I will then pass out the student tablets as well as detailed written instructions on how to access the online tool. We will take a few minutes to read the instructions and, once again, visually walk students through this process on my own computer while students follow along on their devices. I will then go around the room to make sure all students were successful in accessing the “timeline” interactive. Then, I will pass out the instructions and rubric for the assessment, which will require students to choose a process or experience of their choosing to create their own timeline or sequence of events. The process can be a recipe, instructions on how to play a game, the series of events involved in a personal holiday or cultural celebration, among many other things. For each of the steps involved, students will be required to provide a heading, a short caption, and an image related to that step.  Before having students work on their independent timelines, I will go back to my “peanut butter and jelly example” to show them how to save their progress so that they can email it to me for feedback at the end of the lesson.

Once the task has been modeled and instructions have been given, I will walk around the room to make sure students remain on task and provide clarification and assistance as needed.

a. Informal Assessment: I will go around the room checking in with students as they work on their individual timeline/sequence of events to answer questions, monitor understanding, and provide clarifications as needed. This will give me an idea of who understood the purpose of the assignment and who didn’t.

b. Formal Assessment: Students will create their own timelines and they will save the progress they made by the end of the lesson. They will then email it to me and I will provide feedback for them. On subsequent days, students will be allowed to continue working on their timelines in order to make the necessary changes. They will submit it to me for feedback via email one last time prior to the final due date. On the due date, students will present their timelines in small groups.

Student's timelines will then be used as a pre-writing tool in future lessons to have students construct their own narratives by combining each of the individual steps/events listed on their timeline into a cohesive paragraph. This will facilitate the writing process for students by allowing them to use their timeline as an outline.