Timeline Of Historical Events Lesson Plan for 4th Grade Students

Topic: Using Artifacts to Understand Historical Events

Objectives & Outcomes

  • Students will be able to identify key historical events and time periods using artifacts as a guide.


  • Artifacts from different time periods (e.g. ancient Egyptian treasures, Medieval armor, etc.)
  • Timeline worksheets (one per student)
  • Markers or pens


  • Ask students to think about their favorite historical period or event.
  • Write their answers on the board.
  • Ask the students if any of them have visited a historical site or museum.
  • Ask them what they remember seeing there, and write their responses on the board.

Direct Instruction

  • Introduce the concept of historical eras and time periods.
  • Show the students a map of the world and point out different regions and countries.
  • Ask the students to name some historical events that happened in each region.
  • As a class, brainstorm a list of historical events and time periods.
  • Use the eras and time periods from the National History Standards as a reference.
  • Have the students work in pairs to research and write down information about a specific historical event or era.
  • As a class, organize the information into a timeline, using a chart or worksheet.

Guided Practice

  • Divide the class into small groups and give each group a set of historical artifacts.
  • Ask the students to describe the artifacts and brainstorm what they might indicate about the historical era or time period.
  • As a class, discuss the student responses and insights about the historical era or time period.

Independent Practice

  • Ask students to choose a historical era or time period that interests them.
  • Give students materials and supplies to create a timeline of the chosen historical era or time period.
  • Encourage students to use the artifacts to assist them in creating their timelines.


  • Have students share their timelines with the class.
  • Ask students to reflect on the activity and discuss how it helped them understand historical events and eras more clearly.


  • Observe students during the independent practice to see if they are able to create a timeline and accurately label the events.
  • Review students' timelines and provide feedback on their accuracy and presentations.

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