Timeline Based Middle School History {A Two Year American History Plan}

I am so excited to be trying something new with my up and coming middle schooler! We have always favored doing unit studies for history, and as the kids have gotten older we have used a few various curricula.  For the first time this year I am going to try Timeline Based Middle School History. It is sort of going to be chronology (timeline) meets notebooking meets unit studies!

Timeline Based Middle School History {A Two Year American History Plan} from Starts At Eight is a two year plan (including resources) for teaching middle school history with a timeline as the spine.

Welcome to my series which will chronicle our experiences with Timeline Based Middle School History. Throughout the next year (actually two full school years) we will be using a combination of of resources to accomplish our timeline based American history plan. Here I will lay out the basic 2 year lesson plan breakdown.  Be sure to bookmark this page and come back throughout the year as I add specific links to our experiences and projects for each time period!

Timeline Based Middle School History

To create this program I am taking the following resources, creating a breakdown of time periods in history, and then collecting together the specific resources and projects we will cover in each time period.

Main Resources

1. Home School in the Woods – History Through The Ages Timeline Trio

Timeline Based Middle School History {A Two Year American History Plan} from Starts At Eight is a two year plan (including resources) for teaching middle school history with a timeline as the spine.

Record of Time Binder – It is a 12″ x 9″ hard-cover 3-ring binder with one-hundred and twenty-two durable, ivory colored, cardstock pages, 11″ x 8.5″ (horizontal), dated from 5000 BC to 2025 AD. Also included are an additional 17 pages of maps, both ancient and modern world.

I can’t tell you how much I LOVE the Record of Time Binder! Having the widespread layout on card stock, in a fancy binder, makes it a great keepsake as well as durable enough to last through the years.

Timeline Figures – This is a series of Timeline Figures that can be used along with the Record of Time Binder. While there is ample space to write in the binder, I find it easier and neater to use the Timeline Figures.

This 2-CD set allows the freedom to print timeline figures in a variety of ways and sizes, to suit whatever project you’re working on!

  • 1,260+ total figures, including 80 BONUS FIGURES!
  • Both CDs contain figures in two formats: One with text descriptions for those who prefer an encapsulated summary, and one with only a name and date, allowing the child to add in the information, or for easier use in projects.

There is also a new set – Figures of the 20th and 21st century that is not included in the CD collection which has 24 add-on figures of the 20th and 21st century.

Suggested Placement Guide – This is a 72 page guide meant to help kids with the placement of the timeline figures. It allows them to preview how many images will fill a page in the future, thus helping them to determine where to align the figures, as well as where to include their own annotations and additions!

2. Home School in the Woods – History Through the Ages: Time Travelers American History Studies

This is a series of American History studies that leave the textbook behind. They include 25 lessons that can span across 5-10 weeks. There is written text included as well as several activities for each lesson. Activities might include creative writing, recipes, fact cards, three-dimensional projects, lap book projects, and more!

What I love about these history study packs is that they are broken down into time periods and they are totally flexible. We plan on completing one project for each section of history that I have blocked out below. These packs are the perfect way to have ready made text and activities for our history studies!

Timeline Based Middle School History {A Two Year American History Plan} from Starts At Eight is a two year plan (including resources) for teaching middle school history with a timeline as the spine.

Be sure to check out my How to Create a Timeline Based History Plan {COMING SOON} to see how all of my resources will come together to make an enriching and varied American History study for middle school.

3. Historical Fiction

One of the things I have always felt was a good way to study history is through historical fiction. Click on the image below to see how we have studied this way:

Historical Fiction Learning History Through Literature from Starts At Eight

For each section in history I will be creating a list of possible historical fiction, and biography options. Our plan is to read at least one or two for each section (more if they are shorter).

4. Movies/Documentaries

This past school year we started watching movies as part of our history studies (in fact we just finished Cool Runnings! Who knew we would get geography – finding Jamaica and learning about its culture, as well as history – the Olympic Games, Bobsledding, Calgary). Click on the image below to check out my series on Teaching History Through Movies!

Teaching History Through Movies from Starts At Eight. Teaching History Through Movies is a great way to make history come alive. This landing page tells how we do this, where to get & what movies we are viewing. As we watch and find resources for movies I will add them here. American History, World History, Biographies and more!
I plan on incorporating movies into our timeline studies. For each section in history I will be including some possible movies for that time period.

Drive Thru History through Schoolhouse Teachers

Schoolhouse Teachers.com offers access to multiple Drive Thru History Series such as American History and Ancient History! We are so excited to have a membership this year! Along with each of these videos Schoolhouse Teachers has printable worksheets with straight forward comprehension questions as well as essay questions (all with an answer key) for every episode! It’s a great way to study American History!

2 Year Time Period Plan

Please note that the time periods are approximate. When it comes to history you will always find variances in dates, and even what the “facts” are. You can always adapt or adjust as you feel is necessary. We will be spending approximately 5 weeks on each one of these time periods. We will be building our timeline, watching movies, reading books, and completing some fun hands on activities. Find more detailed ideas on How to Create a Timeline Based History Plan.

How to Create a Timeline Based History Plan from Starts At Eight. How to Create a Timeline Based History Plan is a step by step guide to using a timeline as the spine for your homeschool history studies.

As I plan/complete a section I will be creating a post to share exactly who, what, and how we studied each one. (I will link to each one below as we go!)

Year One

Before 1630 – Pre America – The Age of Exploration

Joan of Arc, Columbus, Leonardo da Vinci, Pocahontas, the Mayflower and more!

1630 – 1763 – Colonial America

First Thanksgiving, Squanto, Colonial Life, Rembrandt, French & Indian War and more!

1763 – 1783 – Revolutionary America

Sugar & Stamp Acts, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere, Revolutionary War, the Liberty Bell, Declaration of Independence and more!

1783 – 1860 – The Young Republic & Westward Expansion

Articles of Confederation, Constitutional Convention, Eli Whitney, Lewis & Clark, Oregon Trail, War of 1812, Gold Rush

1830-1876 – Civil War/Reconstruction

Year Two

1871 – 1920 – 2nd Industrial Revolution

1914 – 1933 – WWI/Depression

1933 – 1945 – New Deal/WWII

1945 – 1960 – Postwar America

1960-1980 – The Vietnam Era

1980 – 2000 – End of the Century

2000 – Present – Recent History