History Timeline For Hands-On & Visual Learning

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Ribbon History Timelines Using All American History-Busy Boys BrigadeDisclaimer:  This post on History Timeline for Hands-On & Visual Learning contains affiliate links. I did receive product and compensation but all opinions and review are my own.

A history timeline is a fantastic way for all to record and learn about important dates and events. As we continue with our homeschool studies using All American History by Bright Ideas Press, the boys and I enjoy using its many features to enrich our history learning. We currently use All American History Volume II which includes:

  • Student Reader
  • Student Activity Book
  • Teacher's Guide/Answer Key

The timelines found within the Teacher's Guide/Answer Key have proven invaluable to our history studies of the time periods from the Civil War to modern times. We used these timelines to create History Timelines Using Paints Sticks & Washi Tape. The boys and I love to come up with creative ways to add to our learning, including Professor's favorite-History!

I volunteer as an assistant at our church's Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. This class is a Montessori approach to CCD. I help in Level II which includes ages 6-9.

Good Shepherd involves presentation of works to teach a lesson. Once a child has seen a presentation, the child may then use the work within the class to further practice and learn the information. Works are hands-on and visual approaches with specific ways to prepare and use.

One of the presentations of works that has intrigued me was La Fettuccia (an explanation can be found here), a representation of God's creation using a ribbon. As the ribbon slowly unrolls and periods of God's creation is revealed, the vastness of time begins to sink in. Each rib on the ribbon represents 100 years. Adults and children marvel at our place in the work in relation to the miracle of creation.

I knew there would be a way to adapt this activity into our homeschool. I thought it would be another helpful way for my boys to envision the facts we learned in our history studies. As with most activities, I tweak a bit here and there to better fit our needs at the time.

My boys learn through hands-on and visual learning. They also benefit from recording dates and events. This activity helps to solidify the concept and makes for easier recall.

History Timeline Using Ribbon & Clothes Pins

I selected the widest ribbon that I could find. I wanted to leave enough room for the boys to add clothes pins or other markers for special dates and time periods.


  • wide ribbon
  • wooden clothes pins
  • fabric markers (thin Sharpies would work)
  • ball point pen

We considered including earlier historical time periods into our timeline. The boys decided that they wanted to stick with the timelines presented in our studies from All American History II which runs from 1850-2003.

Ribbon History Timeline All American History-Busy Boys Brigade

The boys had to determine the length of ribbon per decade (bit of math thrown in there!). Using  a ruler, they marked the ribbon with clothes pins.

Ribbon History Timeline Using All American History-Busy Boys Brigade

Next, we used fabric markers to mark a line and add year.

Ribbon History Timeline Using All American History-Busy Boys Brigade

We then used ball point markers to write specific year(s) and descriptions to wooden clothes pins. The boys chose red to record Presidential terms and blue for other events.

We can now use this History Timeline Using Ribbon & Clothes Pins in our homeschool for learning Presidents and special events from the Civil War period to modern times. I love how easy it is to store-roll up the ribbon and clothes pins in a bag.

I also love the flexibility of this timeline. We can use it to study famous artists, music composers, scientists, and more!

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To find out more about how All American History can add that special spark to your homeschool history studies, click below to learn more and follow along on social media:

site:  www.brightpressideas.com





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You can find out more about why we love and how we use All American History in our homeschool in these posts:

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