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BYO (Building Your Own) Timeline


This is an individual or whole class strategy which combines reading/viewing comprehension skills with critical thinking skills. Individually or in groups, students choose one or several points from the timeline and create a sub-timeline related to the selected point(s).

Why use it?

  • To examine events on a Canadian timeline in the context of a broader global timeline
  • To help students develop the understanding that scientific discoveries and innovations contribute to, and are part of, a larger body of knowledge
  • To consolidate learning after reading or viewing new material

Tips for success

  • The sub-timeline can begin with one or several points from the original timeline.
  • The final sub-timeline should be limited to a maximum of 10 new points.
  • Provide guidance to help students identify research or technology related to points on the Canadian timeline.
  • Provide guidance as necessary to help students with the final selection of points to include in the sub-timeline.
  • Use this strategy as a consolidation strategy after the related content has been discussed in detail.

How do I use it?

  • Have students explore an interactive timeline  individually or in pairs. If computer access is limited, provide students with a print copy of the timeline points and descriptions.
  • In groups of three, students discuss and choose one or more related events from the timeline to include in a sub-timeline of the topic.
  • Using a blank BYO Timeline Planning Support Form as a guide, students conduct research and collect information about other events related to their chosen topic.
  • Members of each group collaborate to agree upon the content and create a representative sub-timeline for this topic.
  • Each group shares their sub-timeline with the class
BYO Timeline Planning Support Form
BYO Timeline Planning Support Form


  • Students could be assigned timeline topics for which they conduct research and complete sub-timelines.
  • Each group could create an audio-visual presentation of their timeline and present to the class.


  • Combine the sub-timelines with the original points from the timeline to generate a more complete picture of the knowledge development related to the topic of the timeline.


Using this Strategy

Create Your Own

  • BYO Timeline Planning Support Form Reproducible (Google Doc) (PDF)

Create Your Own

  • BYO Timeline Planning Support Form Reproducible (Google Doc) (PDF)

Ready to Use

Ready to Use


Hines, A. (2006) Using timelines to enhance comprehension. Colorín Colorado.

Malamed, C. (n.d.) The art of timelines for learning. The eLearning Coach.

Pak, A. (n.d.). Teaching with timelines. Home School in the Woods.