Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Biographies: Creating Timelines of a Life

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Biographies: Creating Timelines of a Life

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kathy Egawa

Kathy Egawa

Seattle, Washington


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Biography text sets, created using the provided Websites

  • Information on your personality of choice

  • Strips of paper for timeline note taking (half a sheet of legal paper, 4.25"x14"), pens or pencils) optional instead of online Interactive Timeline)

  • Internet access

back to top




Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing


Students generate descriptive timelines and can include images in the description.


back to top



Biography Selection & Rationale

back to top



back to top



  • Review the written lesson and suggested links. Gather sufficient materials to introduce the lesson—ideally 3-4 information resources for up to six personalities, to include 1) biographies written at the 2nd-5th grade level, preferably including numerous pictures and charts, 2) video tapes, and 3) Web resources. Potential personalities include famous presidents [Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy], inventors [Franklin, George Washington Carver, Madame C.J. Walker], scientists [Marie Curie, Edwin Hubble, Samuel Lee Kountz, Jr.], space explorers [Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride, John Glenn], or athletes [Jim Thorpe, Ichiro Suzuki, Lance Armstrong]. This initial selection must often be limited to personalities for whom you can locate multiple resources, but should include a range of ages, gender, cultures, occupations, and historical and modern day figures.

  • Review use of the Interactive Timeline.

  • Conduct a short inquiry of your own on a personality of interest as a means of introducing the lesson. Amelia Earhart is one personality for whom you are likely to find disparate information and various hypotheses regarding her disappearance. See The Last Flight Website for information and additional Web sources.

back to top