Plot a Time line

Essential Details

Interaction Type People Time Stakes


✖ Learner-to-Instructor



 With Others


✖ Synchronous


✖ High-Stakes


This technique utilizes visual representation to improve the processing of material.

  • Begin with a horizontal line that represents the continuum of time. Important events are inserted relative to each other, creating points on the line.
  • Each point that denotes an event should be marked with the date, a brief description of the event, and significant person(s) involved.
  • Define or give an example of a timeline or terms where appropriate.
Time line with a horizontal line with nine boxes

Sample Procedure

  1. Select period with a set chronology of events.
  2. Provide an example or some events you would like to see.
  3. Provide students with a template.
  4. Ask students to share their work. Conduct a discussion about their timeline.


Canvas Discussion with "Users must post before seeing replies" selected.


Organize five important geologic events in the history of the Earth.


  1. Watch this YouTube video or listen to this 3-minute radio story.
  2. Choose five events that you consider the most important in the geologic history of the Earth.
  3. Draw a timeline and plot events on the timeline.
  4. Share your timeline with a photo of your drawing or a link to an online tool.

More on the options available

Draw on paper, take a photo, and upload the file. 

Or, use PowerPoint, Visio, or another program to draw your map and export it as an image file.

Sample Time Line

Here are sample time lines made using the TimelineJS tool. Note the “Women in Computing” example at the top of the page.

Bloom's level

The level indicates this activity’s place within Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning (Cognitive Domain). Higher-levels contains lower-levels within it.

Level Action







Third Apply
Second Understand
First Remember


Plot, Organize


Teaching Goal

Practice New Skills or Concepts


Concept Maps. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2019, from Learning Center website:

Adapted from the Curators of the University of Missouri 2014