You don’t need a lot of special supplies to make a timeline notebook. Here are suggestions for 7 basic items to get you started.
A timeline is a valuable tool to help students learn and visualize history. History is so much more meaningful when kids can see where people and events fit into the “big picture” of history.
If you want to use a timeline in your homeschool but don’t have much wall space, a timeline notebook is a great alternative.
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7 Things You Need to Make a Timeline Notebook
1. 3-Ring Binder
Choose the size of your binder based on how many years you plan to include in the timeline notebook. Keep in mind that while a 1-inch binder holds approximately 100 sheets of paper, it will hold fewer pages when using thicker cardstock.
Plain white cardstock is ideas for timeline notebook pages. No need to buy any particular brand—just be sure to get standard letter size (8.5 in. x 11 in.). You can probably find the best price on cardstock in the office supplies section of your local Walmart store.
3. Page protectors
Page protectors make it a cinch to slide pages out in order to view them as a continuous picture of history. The page protectors also help keep the timeline pages in good condition.
If you prefer not to use page protectors, you can simply punch holes in the cardstock pages instead.
4. Printable timeline template
These FREE printable timeline notebook pages are available in both lined and unlined versions with dates from 5000 B.C. through A.D. 2024.
5. Printable timeline figures
Timeline figures are an important part of the timeline notebook. I invested in this History Through the Ages timeline figures CD last year, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The figures can be printed by the page in two different sizes, or they can be chosen individually and printed in whatever size you choose.
If you plan to add notebooking pages to your timeline notebook, the History Through the Ages figures make excellent illustrations for them, as well.
6. Colored pencils
Colored pencils are perfect for coloring small timeline figures. We use inexpensive Crayola colored pencils for our timelines.
You’ll need at least the 24-piece set in order to get the peach pencil that works well for light skin tones; pencil shades for darker skin tones are included in any size set.
7. Repositionable adhesive runner
While glue sticks or any kind of liquid glue can be used to attach timeline figures to the page, we use and love this repositionable adhesive runner. In fact, if we happen to run out of this adhesive, we actually put our timeline notebooks on hold until we can get a refill!
Why we love this adhesive runner:
- Timeline figures affix neatly to the page without unsightly bubbles or ripples.
- Timeline figures can be removed from the page without damaging either the figures or the page.
- Any residue around the edges of the timeline figures can be easily removed by rubbing gently with a fingertip.
- Unlike liquid glues, this adhesive involves absolutely no mess.
How to Make a Timeline Notebook
1. Print the timeline notebook pages on white cardstock. I highly recommend one-sided printing so that the timeline pages can be pulled out and laid end to end for a complete picture of history.
You don’t have to print the entire set if you don’t need it right away. You might want to print only the pages that you need for one school year or one time period. Your choice!
2. Insert pages into page protectors (or simply punch with a 3-hole punch if you prefer not to use page protectors).
3. Put the timeline pages into the binder. If you are making one large timeline notebook covering all of history, you may want to use dividers to separate it into historic periods.
4. (Optional) Include a pencil bag at the front of the binder to hold supplies: colored pencils, scissors, and timeline figures that are waiting to be added to the notebook.