How to Make a Timeline of a Story

Making a timeline as a visual representation of story sequence is highly useful in literacy education. Teachers often remark that children hear with their eyes, meaning that most students are visual-dominant learners who comprehend what they see more easily than information they are told. Dividing the story events into order of occurrence is a helpful demonstration of important plot points.

Make the Timeline

Read the book aloud.

Determine the order of events and write them down sequentially with the pen on the sticky notes, using one note for each event in the book. You can have your students respond to questions such as "What happened first in the story?" If it is an elementary class, choose three major plot points: beginning, middle and end.

Check that the order is correct. Refer to the book to make sure.

Make a straight line across the middle of the horizontally oriented poster board using one marker and making the yardstick your guide.

Choose another marker. Make a tick mark on the left end of your timeline. Below that write the first event from the story. Refer to your sticky note to copy the event you chose.

In the middle of the timeline, use another color marker to make a tick mark. Beneath that, print your second event from the book, using your sticky note as a reference.

Make a tick mark on the right end of your timeline using the only remaining color of marker. Underneath the mark, write the third and final event as you recorded it on your sticky note.

Things You'll Need

  • Book
  • Pad of sticky notes
  • Ink pen
  • Poster board
  • 4 markers
  • Yardstick