Overview: Provide students with a list of events running down the page. To the right of the events are two columns as so:
|Event||My Guess||Correct Answer||Difference|
|William has himself crowned as King of England|
|Edward the Confessor dies|
|Harold Godwineson swears to support William as the next King of England|
In “my guess” students number each event to reflect the chronological order in which they occurred (with “1” being the first event, and so on).
The teacher then tells the class what the “correct answer” is for each event.
Students then calculate the difference between the two numbers (note: this will always be a positive number – e.g. 5-3 would be a difference of 2, and 3-5 would also be a difference of 2).
They then add up the total of the “difference” column to get an overall score: the student with the lowest overall difference is the winner.
Taking it Further: If this exercise is used to introduce (rather than to revise) a topic, then some thought should be given to providing some contextual clues within each “event” about what happened previously, or what is about to happen next (e.g. “Because Harold promised to support William, he was then allowed to go home to England”).
- The timeline could initially be provided with deliberate mistakes to create a mistaken timeline.
- Students could select the most important events and arrange them as a living graph , as a labelled map, as Google Earth overlays.
- Students could turn the timeline into a biased account or a Facebook timeline.
- Students turn the account into a themed timeline to move towards analysis rather than mere chronological narrative.