We’re studying ancient world history this year and I wanted my oldest son to have a personal timeline he could keep in his history notebook. Nothing I could find seem to quite be what I was looking for, so I decided to create it myself.
This timeline is in portrait format and designed to “fan-fold” to fit neatly into a binder. It will require 12 sheets of paper or cardstock (I used cardstock). The first sheet covers from 13,000 BC to 5000 BC (since we don’t have much in the way of dates to fill in for the times prior to written history). The remaining pages each cover a period of 500 years. It ends at 500 AD, but it’s pretty likely I’ll finish it to modern times when we get there.
There are 3 different versions: with lines, bottom lines, and no lines. I allowed my son to choose which one he preferred, the photo instructions for assembly are therefore of “bottom lines” version. Click on the one you want to download:
This is how you put it together:
1. Print all 12 pages single-sided. Note: my laser printer will curl cardstock if I print single-sided (making it really hard to line things up), so I chose to print these on my inkjet. The pages came out perfectly flat and were easy to line up.
2. Trim off the right margin from the first page (13,000 BC to 5,000 BC) using a straight trimmer---this is the area beyond the end of the bold line in the middle. The left margin will be an extension where you’ll punch your holes.
3. Trim off both the right and left margins from the remaining pages (warning, don’t get your pages all mixed up!).
4. Taking two consecutive pages at a time, turn them over to the wrong side, butt them together at their adjoining long edge and tape with clear packing tape.
5. Repeat #4 for the remaining pages.
6. Fan-fold your timeline. 3-hole punch the extension.
7. Pop it into your child’s history binder---maybe he’d like to decorate the “cover”?
And you’re done! You can also use this as a wall timeline (the overall length would be approximately 7-1/2 feet).
Now, maybe you are wondering…why use the same amount of space per 500 years for the end of the timeline when so much is happening as I used for the beginning of the timeline when there’s not so much to record?
There are a couple of reasons for this. The first 500 years was just as long as the most recent 500 years, so it would be visually misleading to give it less “time” on the timeline. Some would say that “less” was happening back then and a relatively empty timeline will emphasize that. Others would say that less is known about that time period (we are simply inundated with information as we get closer and closer to our own time period) and the timeline will also emphasize this. If you are using The Well-Trained Mind as a homeschool guide, they do recommend equally distributing time along the timeline (with a smaller space for approximately 13,000 BC to 5,000 BC to allow for space considerations).
Please let me know if you find these notebook printables useful.
And if you like it, pin it to share with your friends!
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