Saturday, January 30, 2010


xTimeline is an interactive site for creating and sharing timelines. While it's free there are numerous ads (most of which seem to do with belly fat!).
On xTimeline, students can not only connect events to dates, but they can embed images, links, audio, and video. Students can save their work to the site, email it to others, and link their timelines to other pages as well. Another nice feature is the ability to comment on timelines.

There are hundreds of timelines already saved to the site, with topics covering most everything you could think of. The timelines are user-generated, however, so it's a good opportunity to teach your students to fact-check.

How can you use xTimeline in your classroom?

1. Have students create a timeline of an author's life or events from a novel.

2. Create a "bogus" timeline filled with mistakes and incorrect dates. Have students research and then revise your work.

3. Have your writing students plan out the plots of their short stories.

4. Have students write out their "life stories" and then place major events on a timeline. This assignment had an added bonus for my writers. Many felt like they didn't have "timeline-worthy" events in the personal essays they had written, even though, as one student commented, they had written "basically [their] whole lives, word for word!" Focusing on finding "timeline-worthy" events made them edit their work down to the "good parts."

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