21 Timelines

Competencies: Social Studies, History

Social Studies Skills 5.2.2: Uses a graphic organizer to organize main ideas and supporting details from visuals and literary, narrative, informational, and expository texts.CBA: Cultural Contributions


Objective: Students create a timeline of local history highlighting events and historical eras by placing information in chronological order.

Materials: laminated timeline and timeline cards

Note to teacher:

There are three groups of people mentioned in this timeline; Native Americans, a group of people from China, and Japanese families.  Unfortunately, Issaquah has not always been a place where diversity was appreciated or even tolerated.  Rather than skipping over the unpleasant parts of history in an attempt to protect children, all major events have been included because it can be just as detrimental to ignore such history.  It is up the educator to present the complete history to children in a sensitive, tolerant manner.  Please encourage students to see how unfortunate some attitudes and events have been in the past.  Also encourage students to see how people can learn from their mistakes in the past, and how they can be part of creating a brighter and better future for everyone.


  1. Discuss what a timeline is.  As an introduction to timelines, each child can make a simple timeline of his or her own life.  On a small strip of paper, students can mark off each year of their life with a date and a small drawing illustrating an important event that happened that year, such as 1999 lost my first tooth, 2000 my brother was born, 2001 started school, 2002 trip to Disneyland, 2003 moved to Washington State.
  2. Share the timeline of Issaquah history without any of the information cards attached.  Discuss the dates on the timeline.  How do they compare to the dates on the students’ life timelines (covers more time, goes much farther back in history).
  3. Pass out the information cards to small groups or partners.  There are 30 cards in all.  Teachers may want to pass out and discuss five cards a day for six days, or ten cards a day for three days, to spread out the information.
  4. Students read, discuss and share the information on their cards.  As an optional activity, students can also illustrate the event on their card, look for photos in the kit that might show the event, or look for objects in the kit that coincide with their event.  (Not all events will have matching photos or artifacts.)
  5. Students discuss which cards go with which dates.
  6. Students attach their cards to the timeline in chronological order.
  7. Discuss the changes that have occurred in the Issaquah area.
  8. Examine the causes and effects that people and events had on the area.


Activity 21 (DOC)
Activity 21 (PDF)
Timeline cards

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