Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

BC AD Timeline - some thoughts

As I was preparing a new BC AD timeline I had a few random thoughts - entirely random!

Making it: 
More images to come! 

  • This timeline is VERY SIMPLE. And should be kept that way so that is remains multi-purpose. I have seen several fancy (and therefore expensive or trickier to make) versions available. Bleck. Keep it simple! It can be made WHILE you are presenting for the first time! Measure out your white strip (ribbon, receipt tape, strips of white paper that you tape together as you go (this last idea would be the easiest for measuring if you are making it while presenting)). Start in the middle with the life of Christ. The year Zero is placed written in red - but see note below on color options. Make a vertical line above and below the zero. 
  • Now we start marking an inch back (or two inches back or whatever distance you ultimately want) for the first century before Christ. Mark the same length ahead for the first century after Christ. These are black vertical lines broken only by the number in the middle - 100, 200, etc. (choose if you want to have BC/AD repeated on each one but usually this would be a NO - too much of a crutch for the children). 
  • Continue with the second century before and the second century after. You are drawing vertical lines down to mark each century equal distance from the one you made before it. 
  • Ultimately we are going back the same length of time as we come forward, so that the timeline is balanced. 
  • Then go back to the red/gold zero - write in BC and AD in their appropriate places and explain what they mean.  

Modifying it: 

  • The 0 is the only writing in red because this is the hinge point. All other years are in black. BUT if you are making this material within a setting (homeschool or school) that is somehow connected with CGS atrium experience, I would consider writing the BC numbers in red; the 0 in gold; and the AD numbers in green (to coordinate with the Books of the Bible presentation of Old Testament and New Testament). 
  • Or if you are only loosely connected or not at all connected but are a family of Christian faith, then BC numbers could be purple (preparing for Christ), 0 in gold, and AD in green for the growth of Christ's light throughout the world since His resurrection. 
  • In the spaces thus created you could add "1st Century", "2nd Century", etc. I still would not add the "before Christ" or "after Christ" on the writing but would add that phrase in the SAYING. We want the visual to have the most power. 
  • ONE POSSIBLE ADDITION to the material that is actually quite useful: Adding in the Roman Numerals to represent the centuries (perhaps in place of the words "1st Century" etc from above). Alternatively, this could be a separate strip created to lay below the BC/AD timeline in coordinating length and segments (it too could be created while presenting). Second alternative: these could be on small cards that fit onto the original timeline and the children sort them out accordingly. (or combine both alternatives - set of cards to place and a second timeline to roll out to check their work)

Presenting it: 

  • If a child has been in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium, this timeline could come much earlier. They have had experiences from a different angle - that of focusing on the life of Christ (the moment of Redemption) then extending out to the moments of Creation and Parousia. To a child with solid level 2 atrium experience, I would give this work at the middle or end of year 1. I wish I'd made that connection with my son already ;) 
  • This effect is possible with Godly Play but there are no timelines in Godly Play, so while the stories would fit into place on the BC/AD timeline, the visual hasn't already been there - this would be their first visual of it. 
  • It is ok to create this material while presenting it. Invite the child to make their own if you are in a co-op situation - they can take it home and expand upon it there. 

Follow-ups to the BC/AD Timeline will depend on the age and experience of the child: 
  • If you have story cards for pretty much anything (from the Montessori presentations, Godly Play, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Bible stories, world history stories, etc, etc) place them on the timeline in about the time they happened. See where things fall.
  • Do some mathematics word problems. How many years between 200 AD and 500 BC. If a building were started in 320 BC, could it have been completed *before* 350 BC? Older children get more detailed, with numbers more closely matching - trickier; younger children make it more obvious. Come back to it every year and expand. 
  • Upper elementary: This timeline and 99% of American society is based on this concept centering around the life of Christ. Now with older children explore other timelines with different resulting years - Chinese calendar, Jewish Calendar, Mayan Calendar, etc. What are their calendars centered around? Do they have a "before" anything aspect?
  • Sometime between 2nd and 5th year: explore the calendar updates - what changed in the AD portion that forced us to "lose" days - sometimes MONTHS depending on our location. 
  • This leads back into calendar study of course but gives it another perspective. 
  • Introduce CE and BCE (Common Era and Before Common Era) and the reasons why this notation was introduced. 
  • Be sure to emphasize there was life and history before the first timeline actually shown on the timeline, we are just showing here where our time markings came from. 
  • Work with the Roman Numerals as noted above. 

And yes this very simple timeline should be visited every year, with some sort of follow-up or discussion or word problem set with it.

1 comment:

  1. I love your ideas for the use of this timeline, and definitely plan on making one for our home use! :)