Grade 5 Lesson Plan

Subject: Social Studies

Topic: Historical Thinking

Content Standard: Multiple-tier timelines can be used to show relationships among events and places.

Objectives (“I Can” Statements): I can create a multiple-tier timeline depicting events from SND history as well as U.S. history.


  • Smart Board slide or Power Point slide with timeline and events
  • Construction paper or poster paper
  • Envelope of events for each group
  • Art supplies (glue, scissors, crayons, markers, etc.)
  • Optional: Exit slip


  1. To introduce this topic, the teacher will portray a multi-tiered timeline on the Smart Board showing the “life of a 5th grade student” on one side and events that have happened in U.S. history during this time on the other – there will be blank spaces in the timeline for students to complete (if a Smart Board or similar device is not available, the teacher may use the whiteboard to show the timeline).
  2. The teacher will ask students to come up to the board and drag the missing events from the timeline to the correct place based on date.
  3. Show students a few other examples of multi-tiered timelines in order to help them with the activity
  4. Then, students will be placed into groups of 3 or 4 and given an envelope with a description of events from SND history and U.S. history with dates on them.
  5. Students will create a multi-tiered timeline (on a piece of construction paper or poster paper) and cut/paste the events in the correct order and on the correct side of the timeline. Students will also be required to draw pictures of these events. They will need to make sure their timeline has a title and is labeled correctly.
  6. Students will hang their posters outside the classroom for others to see.
  7. Teacher will debrief and discussion about the events on their timelines.


The poster can be used as a group assessment or grade. Teachers may also choose to give their students an exit slip at the end of the class in which they are asked to place events on a multi-tiered timeline in the correct order and side of the timeline. For example, teachers could use events from world history and U.S. history.