August 26, 2014

The Human Timeline Race

To start the year in world history, we've been working on our map and timeline skills. Most of this is review, but we did add a few new elements for seventh grade. For example, in addition to the timeline labels BC and AD, which they already knew, we learned about BCE and CE. For those that don't know, these refer to Before the Common Era and the Common Era. The terms replace BC and AD as they are more culturally sensitive.

One of our learning targets is to correctly be able to plot BC/AD, BCE/CE dates on a timeline. To practice this we did a human timeline race, which was a lot of fun. 

I gave each student a card, on which was a historical date and event. They were instructed not to look at their cards until I told them to start. I taped a GIANT timeline on the floor, which spanned our entire room, and I marked "0" (which they know isn't really a year but a place marker) in the middle. 

The goal was to get every student to line up in the correct order WITHOUT TALKING! As you can imagine, the not talking part was the hardest direction to follow. Since I'm a meanie, I added 20 seconds to the overall time for talking of any kind.

Each of my six classes participated in at least 2 rounds of this activity. I was especially proud of my third period class because they came back with a vengeance after a rough start. In their first round, I clocked them in at 6 minutes 19 seconds, but they ended with 2 minutes 37 seconds after a little practice. 

My 9th period class also happens to be one of my honors classes. They beat my previous fastest time in their first round. I was blown away! One of the students suggested an extra challenge of not being able to see your own card, which I thought was a great idea! 

Who says learning can't be fun?! :)
So we busted out the tape... and had to pose for a class photo (most of the class anyway) before the big challenge. 

Even without knowing what was on their cards, they were able to complete the timeline in less than three minutes. I was pretty impressed! 

If we have any extra time tomorrow or Thursday, I've promised them we can do some in-class challenges! My students sure do love a little competition!

1 comment:

  1. Super cute lesson and teambuilder at the same time! I'm glad your year is off to a good start! :-)