Timeline with Attitude Tips

By , April 14, 2020 1:56 pm

Assignment Link

1. Overview and Topics

You will choose one perspective from which to make a timeline-with-attitude for events of this unit so far. Do not use any dates past 1789 or before 1650 (unless directly approved by Ms. G). 

This video gives you an overview of the process: http:/https://youtu.be/OojPOd6dPS0

Perspective Choices: 

  1. Indigenous person in North America (see 7 Years War)
  2. Enslaved American (see Origins of Industrialization, Enlightenment, Slave Trade and Resistance)
  3. Free Black in the Caribbean (see Slave Trade and Resistance, Code Noir, Haitian Revolutions)
  4. Enslaved African in the Caribbean (see Slave Trade and Resistance, Code Noir, Haitian Revolutions)
  5. Indian cotton farmer or handloom weaver (see Origins of Industrialization, 7 Years War)
  6. Non-Western Enlightened Thinker / Writer (see Enlightenment – may include Akbar and Suleiman, Slave Trade and Resistance, Haitian Revolutions)

You will pick 5 events from the unit (you shouldn’t have to research too much – the content of the unit should provide the info) that belong on YOUR timeline. In other words, choose events that are important to someone with your perspective; they should be events that brought progress to you/your group of people and/or decline to you/your group of people. It would be nice to have events both above and below the line.

Since this is a timeline, each event needs a DATE. Please do not choose events outside of the dates of this unit: 1650-1789 unless you get specific permission from Ms. G.

You will carefully label the scale of your timeline. It should not just be +3 progress, -3 decline. You need to set criteria for what each level on the scale means. Remember the practice we did in unit one on the topic of Japan.

Criteria refers to standards for decisions. Therefore, criteria for progress or decline refers to standards for what makes the event positive or negative for a group of people. Your criteria will change from 3+ all the way down to 3-. You must label all six places on the scale, not just the ones you used.

Here is a portion of a sample from Ms. G based on unit 1 events.



Students often use Prezi for timelines. Google Draw is acceptable. PPT (Google slides) is not a great choice. If you want to make a timeline by hand drawing/writing and then take a photo of it, I’m fine with that. See the video posted on Google classroom for a Prezi sample and a handmade sample. The video has some additional hints on using HTC terminology as well.

Paragraph: After you create your timeline, choose one event from it that would serve as a turning point for your chosen perspective. Note that a turning point is a change in:

  • the direction of change
  • the pace of change

To show change you must be able to explain the difference between before and after. You need to be very explicit  (direct) in explaining the before/after difference. You also need to refer to direction and/or pace very directly

Your paragraph should have a clear topic sentence, 3 point/example/arguments and a summarizing concluding sentence. It should be written in third person.

If you have done any research beyond the unit topics, please cite your sources in embedded citations.

CHY4U_Turning_Point_Paragraph_Outline (use this to structure your paragraph)



2. Labeling the Scale – Using Criteria

Once you have identified 5 events that are relevant to your perspective, you should begin creating your timeline.

First, you will need to label the scale. That means that every level on the scale needs a description, not just a score (3+ to 3-).

You have to develop the criteria you’ll use to give each event a score.

Criteria is a very important part of thinking. It means that you have reasons for your decisions. You’re not just randomly assigning everything a +3 or -3. You have to actually distinguish between a +3 and +2, or between a -1 and -2.

To determine criteria, you need to understand from your group’s perspective what would allow them to receive this score. What is the standard for this score. 

When creating criteria, you are thinking like a historian. You may use neutral criteria, but it may be better if you used biased criteria, meaning +3 would be heavily in your group’s favour. 


If I were making a timeline with attitude about COVID-19 from the perspective of Donald Trump, his description of maximum progress would be very specific and it might be different from the Surgeon General of the US’s or from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s view of a +3.

The criteria has to be a little bit loose in order to fit a wide range of events. However, it has to be descriptive. If it’s too vague (such as using fuzzy words below) it is really hard to argue why that score should be given. 

Avoid Fuzzy Words

Certain words make poor descriptions:

  • good
  • great
  • bad
  • what exactly do these words mean? Very unclear.

Use your word sense to write expressive descriptions. Also don’t copy Ms. G’s wording from her sample timeline.


Word Limits

Please be aware of the sentence limit (2-4). You cannot write an unlimited amount. You are being asked to write concisely yet precisely. It’s a very important skill. For instance, as college and university classes become bigger and bigger, you will probably be forced to write within page limits quite often. So practice here!

Sentences don’t have to be short. By grade 12 you should be able to use commas and semi-colons proficiently. There are a number of worksheets on the Google Classroom under Course Overview, Groups, and Starters: “Grammatical Sentences” and “Writing Tips and Tools.” Sentences must be complete. Fragments don’t count as sentences and will heavily affect your score.

Please capitalize all proper nouns (names, countries, religions, etc.) I have noticed that many students do not capitalize these words. Proofread your work before you submit it, please. 

3. Using HTC Terminology in Your Timeline 

The Ontario curriculum emphasizes Historical Thinking Concepts. I have to evaluate your ability to use these concepts. Therefore, I give you vocabulary lists, you have a link to the HTC booklet on this blog, and I highlight the words in my overview video (see google classroom for link).

Please bold words related to HTCs; draw my attention to them. Show me you know that you are using them! You must use continuity and change (guidepost progress and decline). And, of course you cannot explain progress and decline for different groups of people without using historical perspectives. No presentism, of course.

To increase your mark, use HTCs in a sophisticated way. For example, don’t just use the words progress or decline over and over. Use the synonyms I’ve given you and the guideposts (the sub-topics within each HTC) and don’t just drop words. 

Any references to causes and consequences should include descriptors such as long-term, medium-term, short-term, direct, indirect, intended, unintended, or any of the PERSIAT factors.

Obviously, use HTC in the turning point paragraph. Turning point is a guidepost of continuity and change and directly relates to progress and decline, more specifically to pace of change and direction of change. Your explanations of how the turning point is present are the arguments.

4. Turning Point Paragraph

Pick one event that was a turning point for your group (perspective). Explain why using three pieces of specific, detailed evidence. Follow proper paragraph structure by using the template as an outline. 

Apply HTC, meaning define turning point and refer to the criteria for it in your explanations. A turning point is a change in direction or pace. If you don’t refer to these things directly, you won’t get the mark you want!

If you do any additional research, make sure to cite it using the embedded format we’ve been using so far. If you use websites, make sure they are reliable using the COR (civic online reasoning) principles. 


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