Timeliner in the Curriculum - Onondaga Central Schools

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Timeliner in the Curriculum - Onondaga Central Schools

Tom Snyder Productions

® A Scholastic Company

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in Your Reading &

Writing Curriculum


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© 2002 Tom Snyder Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tom Snyder Productions is a registered trademark of Tom Snyder Productions, Inc.

TimeLiner is a trademark of Tom Snyder Productions, Inc.

Chato’s Kitchen is written by Gary Soto and illustrated by Susan Guevara, Illustrations copyright

(c) 1995 by Susan Guevara. Used by permission of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin

Putnam Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

Foreword ................................................................................................................................1

Introduction ........................................................................................................................3

Improving Reading Comprehension with Time Lines........................3

Sequence ..........................................................................................................................3

Story Summary ..............................................................................................................5

Context ..............................................................................................................................5

Visualization ....................................................................................................................7

Cause and Effect ............................................................................................................8

Compare and Contrast ................................................................................................8

TimeLiner in the Genres............................................................................................9

Historical Fiction............................................................................................................9

Autobiography ..............................................................................................................11

Biography ......................................................................................................................11

Using TimeLiner in Writing ..................................................................................12

Writing Plan ..................................................................................................................12

Writing Prompts ..........................................................................................................12

Group Writing ..............................................................................................................13

And More…........................................................................................................................13

Bibliography and Resources ................................................................................14


Foreword

TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

When Tom Snyder Productions created and published the first version of TimeLiner back in

1987, we never predicted that the program would become such a classroom favorite. We also

never predicted the many creative ways that teachers would use this simple yet powerful tool.

You’ve used TimeLiner in social studies to make historical time lines, but you’ve also used it in

science to give students a visual image of the relative distances of the planets from the Sun; in

math to highlight the relationship between imperial and metric measures; and in language arts

to sequence the events of a story. Across the content areas, teachers from kindergarten through

high school have found TimeLiner to be an invaluable instructional tool. Clearly, TimeLiner isn’t

just for social studies.

We created this booklet to share some of the innovative ways teachers have used TimeLiner

to help students develop their most fundamental skills: reading and writing. In the pages that

follow, you’ll find lesson and project ideas to enhance your language arts curriculum. Take the

ideas and run with them. And let us know how you’ve been using TimeLiner in your classroom.

We’d love to share your ideas with other teachers. Your students and theirs will enjoy the benefits.

All the best to you in great teaching!

From the team at Tom Snyder Productions

1


Introduction

TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

The Report of the National Reading Panel* reviewed and analyzed thousands of studies on reading

instruction and affirmed what teachers already know: visual organizers help students remember and

better comprehend what they read (NRP, 4–45, 2000). As visual organizers, time lines offer support

for sequencing, cause and effect, and making personal connections. In addition, time lines have

long been essential tools for assisting students in the writing process. Not only can students use

time lines to organize the content of their writing, they can use them to schedule the process of

completing their writing.

TimeLiner, with its incredible ease of use, multiple types of display, and ability to manage various

kinds of media, is an ideal tool for making time lines to build reading comprehension and support

the writing process. This booklet highlights just some of the practical and easy ways TimeLiner can

help make your students better readers and writers. Time lines can help deconstruct text, visually

represent ideas, enhance comprehension strategy instruction, analyze writing genres, and much more!

Improving Reading Comprehension with Time Lines

With TimeLiner you can easily create time lines of story events to help your students grasp

relationships of events, setting, plot, and characters. It’s a great way to reinforce the reading

comprehension strategies that you’re already teaching in your classroom.

Sequence

One of the most significant uses of time lines in reading instruction comes in the support it

can provide students as they sequence events in a story. The visual representation and scale

help students understand how story events relate to each other and move the plot of a story

along. Have students enter important story events and the order in which the events took

place into TimeLiner. The program will automatically put the events on a time line in sequence.

Here’s an example from the book Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, a well-known African fairy tale.

TimeLiner can help students sequence story events.

* The National Reading Panel was formed in 1997 at the request of Congress and the Secretary of Education.

The goal of the panel was to assess the effectiveness of different approaches used to teach children to read.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

You might notice that this time line has no dates or times. The story doesn’t give those specifics.

However, TimeLiner will sequence and scale any set of numbers, not just dates and times. This

time line was created as a custom time line type and each event was assigned a number, starting

with 1. To insert a forgotten event, say between events 2 and 3, assign it 2.5, and the program

will put it in its correct spot in the sequence. To indicate simultaneous events, assign the events

the same number so they will appear directly over one another in the time line.

You can also use TimeLiner to create a collaborative story summary. After completing a chapter

book with your class, assign each student or group of students a chapter to summarize in a

time line. This would work well in a computer lab setting, where students can work individually

at the computer or in small groups clustered around each workstation. After each chapter is

summarized in its own time line, use TimeLiner’s Merge feature to merge all of the time lines

together, creating a collaborative story summary.

Many stories do not follow a linear chronology in the text as some events in the narrative may

be presented as a flashback. In a typical reminiscence, for example, the narrator talks from the

present day about events that occurred in the past. As the story jumps from present to past

back to present, some students may struggle to keep track of which events happened when.

With TimeLiner students can enter events in any order, and the program will sequence, organize,

and scale them. Each student can keep a log for a book that they’re reading. At the end of each

chapter, the student can enter a summary of major chapter events into TimeLiner. The program

will put the events into chronological order and space them out appropriately on the time line.

Here’s an example from Robert C. O’Brien’s Newbery Award-winning book, Mrs. Frisby and the

Rats of NIMH. In this book, several events happen within the span of a couple of weeks, but

a large part of the story takes place several years in the past. The flashback happens in the

middle of the book and there are a few chapters that alternate between past and present. To

help your students keep track of the sequence of the plot, you can use TimeLiner to map out

the events. Through careful reading your students can piece together time estimates for all

the events and assign them a year. Once all the events are in the time line, students can

highlight the events told via flashback by altering the visual representation of the banners.

In the sample time line below, events told out of sequence are highlighted with yellow flags.

TimeLiner helps put flashbacks in perspective.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

Story Summary

Let’s take another look at the time line from Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. It shows many events,

and students might be tempted to include all of them in a story summary. You can use TimeLiner

to teach your students about summarization and distinguish between essential and non-essential

events. For example, you might begin a lesson on summarization by having students list all the

events from the story. Then, you might lead a discussion about which events would be important

to include in a summary. Using TimeLiner you can simply hide the unwanted events, leaving them

in the sequence but removing them from the summary (select Hide Event from the Format menu).

In the example below, events that are flagged in yellow are essential to include in the story summary.

The events indicated by uncolored flags are less important and can be omitted from the summary.

Use colored flags to mark key events to include in a story summary.

Context

Sometimes the events in a book or story can span a long period of time. While reading, the

events may seem to follow one another directly, but in fact large gaps of time may separate

them. Students need to have a broader understanding of the context of the entire storyline

to be able to grasp the relevance of the specific events. Time lines can help students

understand how individual events relate to the larger time frame of the story.

Since TimeLiner automatically places events on a time scale, it’s easy to see the “empty” spaces

between events. Take a book like Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt that spans hundreds of years.

Within those years, however, there is a week in August that is written about in great detail. Almost

the entire book takes place during this week. TimeLiner can help students focus on the detail while

keeping the larger time frame in perspective.

In the example, the plus sign (+), or Media Link icon, in the 1793–1950 time line links to a picture

of a second time line that delineates the events of the week in August in more detail. TimeLiner

allows you to export whole time lines as graphic images (jpeg, bmp, or pict). Those images can

be tied to individual events on another time line. This is especially useful if students want to post

their time lines to a Web site. With a click on the Media Link icon, visitors to the Web site can link

to the second time line. Using this technique students can explode a particular event in great detail

within a much longer time frame.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

The Media Link icon (+) can be used to link two related time lines together.

A detailed view of an event on a linked time line.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

Visualization

TimeLiner can offer students a helpful way to visualize what they are reading. Offering a graphic

version of the events in a story can help bring text to life for visual learners. Early elementary

students, for example, can chart and illustrate the events in a story like The Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle. After reading the story aloud to the class, have your students think back to the book

and recall what the caterpillar ate on each day of the week. Create a weekly time line and enter

the caterpillar’s diet from each day. View the time line from the Vertical Banner mode and drag

all of the events to the left side. Print it out for your students and have them draw corresponding

illustrations on the right side of the time line. As they do so, your students reflect on the book,

visualize the content, and capture the visualization as an illustration on the time line.

If you have a kid-friendly drawing tool, such as KidPix, you can have students draw their pictures

on the computer. Those pictures can be pasted onto the time line or linked to the individual events.

Combining the computer drawings with the time line produces a colorful printout or a fun,

multimedia slide show. Using TimeLiner’s audio recording capabilities, students can even record

their own reading and commentary with each event to accompany their images. It’s a great way

for students to share the book with parents at an Open House.

Use a time line to help students visualize the events of a story.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

A fun extension activity is to have students use The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a model for their

own imaginative eating stories. Using the writing style of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a model,

have students write their own eating story (or dictate their story to an adult helper who can write

it down). Title the stories “The Very Hungry Kindergartners” and have students illustrate them.

Finally, publish the stories individually or as part of a class book.

Cause and Effect

Once you have the events in a story sequenced, you can use TimeLiner to highlight relationships,

like cause and effect. The Banner View in TimeLiner allows you to categorize, customize, and

manipulate each event flag, giving you numerous options for designating relationships among

a stream of chronological events. You can even create a vertical time line with causes

on one side and effects on the other.

Let’s take a look at an example from The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi. In the book,

thirteen-year-old Charlotte Doyle is the only passenger aboard a ship bound for Rhode Island.

During the trip she becomes entangled in the crew’s revolt against the corrupt captain. In an

excerpt from chapter four (pp. 36–38 in the hardcover edition), Zachariah, a crew member,

explains to Charlotte why it may be unsafe for her aboard the Seahawk. Captain Jaggery has

acted unfairly in the past and the crew wants revenge. In this example, Captain Jaggery’s action,

the central event, is delineated in bold with a gray flag. Causes to this event are marked with

rounded flags, and effects of the event are marked with swallowtailed flags.

Time lines can be used to demonstrate cause and effect relationships.

Compare and Contrast

You can also use time lines to compare and contrast. For example, you can have your

students compare and contrast the daily life of a literary character to their own lives.

Read Sarah Morton’s Day (or Samuel Eaton’s Day) by Kate Waters and have students create

a time line of Sarah’s daily activities. Sarah spends a lot of her time doing chores and

much less time in school. Have students create their own time line of a typical day. It

will probably look a lot different than Sarah’s! In the two time lines on page 9, colored

flags are used to help compare and contrast the main components of a typical day. The

time spent doing chores is marked in blue, school in yellow, and free time in green. This

gives students a visual way to compare their day to Sarah’s and is a great starting point

for a written compare and contrast essay.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

Much of Sarah’s day is spent doing chores. She spends little time in school.

A large part of a typical student’s day is spent in school.

Many language arts teachers have their students compare book and movie versions of the same story.

For example, you might have students read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and compare it to the hollywood

version, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Create a vertical time line and enter the similarities and

differences between the book and the movie. Drag the similarities to one side of the time line and the

differences to the other side. Select different banner colors to highlight the similarities and differences.

TimeLiner in the Genres

TimeLiner can be an effective tool to help teach students about specific writing genres. Outlined

below are a few different ways you can use TimeLiner to teach in the genres.

Historical Fiction

TimeLiner can help bridge the gap between history and the historical fiction that students are reading

in class. This relationship enhances both the social studies and the reading curriculums as students have

a better appreciation and understanding of a specific time period as well as the genre of historical fiction.

You can have your students create two different time lines — one that represents a period in history and

one that represents events in a book — and merge them together. This process will automatically integrate

the book with actual historical events, creating anchor points where the book and history blend together.

Here are three sample time lines based on Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. The first time line shows the

history of the events leading up to the Revolutionary War, and the second time line documents events from

the story. You can merge the two time lines together so that events from the story are put into a real

historical context. Notice that there are common points that link the story with history, such as the Boston

Tea Party, the First Continental Congress, and the Battle of Lexington and Concord. These anchor points help

make history come alive for students as they can see unfolding events through Johnny Tremain’s perspective.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

Events leading up to the American Revolution: 1773–1775.

Events from the book Johnny Tremain.

Yellow flags on this merged time line give historical context to the events in the story.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

Autobiography

Using TimeLiner students can easily make time lines of their own lives. As a pre-writing exercise

for writing an autobiography or memoir, have students use the Data View to enter significant dates

and events into the chart. This outline can be used as a basis for writing in the genre. Students can

elaborate on each event, creating a complete autobiography. Students can also add photos, sounds,

and movies to the time line or create a slide show about their lives.

Significant events are shown through TimeLiner’s Data View.

Biography

Time lines can be helpful organizing tools for students writing biographies. A time line can

visually represent the entire life of a significant person, highlighting great achievements and

career milestones. For example, students assigned to do an author study could research their

favorite authors using biographies, autobiographies, or the Internet. Using TimeLiner they can

pull together their research to create a final presentation or oral report that includes images,

sound, Internet links, and more. You could even attach a recording of a student reading an

excerpt from the author’s most well-known book. With TimeLiner’s slide show feature, students

can match multimedia to specific events on the time line. Here are two screens from a TimeLiner

slide show about the award-winning children’s author, Gary Soto. These screens show the date,

the event, an image, a multimedia link, and a reference of the event to the time line.

Significant events and multimedia links are highlighted using TimeLiner’s Slide Show mode.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

Using TimeLiner in Writing

You’ve seen how to use TimeLiner as a graphic organizing tool for increasing reading

comprehension, but you can also use it to help your students write.

Writing Plan

An assignment time line is a great way to outline the steps involved in the writing process

and the student work needed to meet those deadlines. Using the yearly/monthly time line

type in TimeLiner (or the weekly time line for shorter projects), have your students enter

key due dates for the different stages of the process.

Students can create an assignment schedule for their writing.

After the key dates have been entered, students can view their assignment time line from

the Banner mode. In the example below, the due dates for the writing project are highlighted

in the time line with rounded, green flags. You can then have your students budget their time

so they can meet the due dates. In addition to the assignment due dates, the sample time line

shows the student tasks in uncolored flags and the teacher task in a yellow flag.

The assignment schedule can easily be converted into a visual time line.

Writing Prompts

At times, you may want your students to respond in writing to particular events from a

story. Using TimeLiner’s Media Link feature, you can embed writing prompts directly into

the time line. Let’s take another look at the time line of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

You can select an event on the time line and add a writing prompt into the Notes area.

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

Use the Notes area to attach writing prompts to specific events on the time line.

After adding the writing prompt, the time line displays the plus sign (+), or Media Link icon,

next to the event in Banner View. If students click the Media Link icon and select Notes, the

writing prompt will be displayed under the time line. If a short response is sufficient, students

can respond to the writing prompt in the Notes area (they need to be careful not to delete the

prompt). If the response is lengthy, students can respond on paper or in another electronic format.

Click the Media Link icon (+) of an event to display the embedded writing prompt.

Group Writing

A time line is also a good way to create an organizational plan for writing a class book. First,

determine the genre, setting, and main character. You might ask a student to help with this, or

you may want to determine them for the class. For example, you might tell your class that they

will be writing a fairy tale, and the main character is a dragonslayer named Dirk. As a class,

brainstorm the plot for the fictional story and use TimeLiner to create a time line that represents

the chronology, each student adding an event to the story’s time line. When the class has finished

the time line, print it and distribute it to every member of the class. The time line serves as a great

outline for students to begin their own fairy tales. Have each student write a fairy tale based on the

outline and then compare how differently the stories turn out, given the same sequence of events.

And More…

These lesson ideas just scratch the surface of the ways TimeLiner can support your reading

and writing program. Try it yourself and you’ll quickly see the benefits. If you don’t already

have the TimeLiner application, call us today for a FREE 45-Day Trial at 1-800-342-0236.

Share your experiences with us, and we’ll share the best of them with the tens of thousands

of TimeLiner users across the country. Enjoy!

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TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

Bibliography and Resources

Avi. (1990). The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. New York: Orchard Books.

Babbitt, Natalie. (1975). Tuck Everlasting. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.

Carle, Eric. (1969). The Very Hungry Caterpillar. New York: Penguin Putnam Books.

Dahl, Roald. (1964). Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. New York: Knopf.

Educational Paperback Association. 1999. Seventh Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators.

Retrieved August 1, 2002, from http://www.edupaperback.org/authorbios/Soto_Gary.html

Forbes, Esther. (1943). Johnny Tremain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000). Report of the National Reading

Panel. Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading

and Its Implications for Reading Instruction: Reports of the Subgroups (NIH Publication No. 00-4754).

Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

O’Brien, Robert C. (1971). Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. New York: Atheneum.

Soto, Gary. (1995). Chato’s Kitchen. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Steptoe, John. (1987). Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books.

Tom Snyder Productions. TimeLiner 5.0. Watertown: Tom Snyder Productions, 2001.

Waters, Kate. (1989). Sarah Morton’s Day. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Dir. Mel Stuart. Videocassette. Warner Bros. Family

Entertainment, [2001], c1971.

For order information, please call 1-800-342-0236 or visit www.tomsnyder.com

14


TimeLiner in Your Reading & Writing Curriculum

When Tom Snyder Productions published the first version of TimeLiner in 1987, we never predicted

the many creative ways that teachers would use this simple yet powerful tool. We created this

booklet to share some of the innovative ways teachers have used TimeLiner to help students develop

their most fundamental skills: reading and writing. Below are some of the ideas explored inside:

• Improving reading comprehension with time lines

• TimeLiner in the genres

• Using TimeLiner in writing

• And more…

Use TimeLiner to illustrate

the sequence of events within

children’s literature.

500

1000

Tom Snyder Productions ®

®

80 Coolidge Hill Road • Watertown, MA 02472-5003 • USA

Phone 800-342-0236 • Fax 800-304-1254 • www.tomsnyder.com

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ABOUT US

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Tom Snyder Productions, a Scholastic company, is a leading developer and publisher of educational

software for K–12 classrooms.The company was founded over 20 years ago by Tom Snyder, a former

science and music teacher, who pioneered the utilization of technology in the classroom to enhance

teaching and learning.Today we are proud to carry over 100 award-winning software titles covering each

curriculum area, developed with strict adherence to our high standards for quality and innovation.

Our products help teachers meet curriculum goals in over 375,000 classrooms, improving student

performance and understanding.

One of the first companies to recognize the need for teacher training in the use of technology, we

have also developed a broad range of on-site full-day and half-day workshops for individual schools and

entire school districts. Our popular on-site workshops have helped more than 150,000 teachers learn

to integrate technology effectively into the curriculum.Workshop topics include, Using Technology

to Meet State Standards, Assessing Student Achievement Using Technology,Weaving Technology into

Your Reading Curriculum and Effective Integration of the Internet.

Our mission is to create innovative products and services to inspire

great teaching and improve student learning.

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