Printable History Timeline Template:
Type In Your Own Dates

I receive ad commissions at no cost to you: FTC disclosure.

Order homeschool worksheets in bundles. Interactive fontscolorsSIZES.

This very week you can put together a history timeline template that will help your kids keep track of names, dates, and places - at a glance. Simply download this timeline and add dates!

Oh, how I wish that I had had a timeline to keep history in order when I was in school. How many people do you know who have an A average in history, yet graduated from college with no "sense of history".

This way you can do a full history timeline and and keep it through the years to add new dates and events with this download.

Interactive Timeline Template For Teacher And Advanced Students

I've now made a printable timeline and made it interactive so you or your students can save this to the computer to edit as time goes. Whenever you find a historical person or event that you would like to track, you can add it to your timeline using your keyboard. 

Once you save this download, you can add text in your favorite colors, SIZES, and fonts to add your own names and dates. This means that you can save this in your files before printing and re-save it to your children or students' - thereby saving ink and paper. 

  • The best place to begin studying history and geography is with a timeline to keep the dates in order and to make associations between historical figures and their places in history.
  • The best time to begin using a timeline is at the beginning of the school year.
  • You can add to it through the years, too. I was so excited to learn how to do this and this has been a huge help in our family! We print our timelines single sided on card stock or sturdy paper and keep them in our binders through the middle school and high school years, 5th through 12th grade.
  • Another useful time to use a timeline is before a test or finals. Reviewing names and dates is super easy when they're all laid out in one chart which simplifies taking notes of the important events.

Many school and homeschool curricula teach history in mixed order starting in third grade and continuing through high school: US History, World History, US History, World History, US History, World History. You get the idea. Timelines are the answer for keeping history in chronological order - even if it is studied in scrambled order.

Once your kids begin to use a timeline template, history comes to life.

No matter which order your curriculum teaches history, your students can understand and remember historical events better if they place events that they study in their proper place on a timeline.

Even if your kids have a good sense of history, they can still benefit by adding names and dates to their own timelines.

Timeline Templates Put History In Order By Date

Items of interest from historical books fit nicely in a historical timeline, too. I like to begin with a world timeline and add major dates as the school year progresses.

More. I have learned to have my students print the following timeline template on card stock so that the timeline can endure through the years. Even children as young as third grade enjoy placing dates on a timeline and with care they can do this well. Teach them to write neatly and small.

By the time children reach seventh and eighth grade they really appreciate the importance of keeping a timeline. Very soon they see how useful it would be to be able to keep it through their high school years, so this is very helpful when teaching homeschool history.

I know other teachers and parents besides myself who received near perfect History scores in high school and college; but didn't have a sense of history until they began teaching history with a timeline. The idea of using a timeline was mentioned or required often during our school years, but we didn't think of keeping the same chart throughout our years in school. My teachers skipped it.

Oh, how I wish I'd have thought of it on my own in those days! I love history.

A timeline template is an awesome teacher aid, too. 'Just keep it on your desk or handy in your planner. I still add to mine, especially when we've studied a new historical figure or event.

This seven page world history timeline template begins with the dates that I found in the back of our family Bible. I used this Bible timeline to find major dates to place in the BC world timeline. My students marvel at how tiny the American history timeline is compared to the rest of history. The seven pages below can be used as a:

  • Bible timeline template - Use the first several pages.
  • World history timeline template -  Print the whole download.
  • American history timeline template - Use Page 6.

Using A World History Timeline Template

1. Start young. I've had third grade children able to handle keeping a timeline well and, on the other hand, I've had sixth grade students not be able to keep track of the difference between Anno Mundi (Year of the World – From the first Creation) and Before Christ (BC – dates go backward in a negative direction) without the timeline; so age is not the important issue as to when to start.

I do know this: The older your students, the easier timelines are; but it is so very helpful to younger students, that I'd recommend starting at any time. I sure hope my grandchildren start early. A few dates at a time are not much effort for children to place once their timelines are made –or in this case printed.

2. Print on card stock. This makes the timelines last longer and also makes them easier to find in a stack of mislaid papers.

Did we lose one? Did we have to make new ones or reprint?

Yes. Um…. Several times. I know from experience that the card stock is easier to find. You can feel it in a pile or you can see it from a distance because it is not rumpled or because it's holding up other pages.

3. Print single sided as this can make using the seven pages less confusing as well as able to be laid out in a single line almost six feet long. The page numbers in the bottom right corner are very helpful for making sure to have the pages in order, especially in a classroom setting.

4. Punch three holes. Whether or not you intend to keep your timelines in binders, I'd keep the option open and do it early. This way if you want to punch holes later, you won't risk removing completed information. I keep mine in the folder of my binder because I use it frequently. With many additions, I'm glad the holes are already punched.

I have seen children use either a binder or a folder. My experience with children shows that it is best that they keep their timelines in their binder. That way it's easy to flip to the right page, too. We usually do not go beyond one thousand years very fast, so the other pages are kept better even if the one is loose.

5. Keep through the years. Nothing helps one's sense of history like a timeline and keeping the same timeline all the way through the school years is so helpful for remembering the names and dates in history. It sure would have helped me in high school and college history if I'd had my high school notes on a timeline.

Timeline Templates Name The Date

Use pencil. I am so glad to have mechanical pencils, especially the finer lead of a .5 Pentel or Zebra. We all make mistakes, especially little children. Rather than be discouraged by an ugly pen mark, pencil marks can be erased. Even through the ten or more years that we've been doing this, the pencil marks remain legible, so using pencil has been very helpful. If you need to preserve a child's work for longer than high school, consider photo copying it as for college.

Use manuscript. Manuscript handwriting is easier to keep neat on a timeline as with creating maps. As with map making, printing the words can make them easier to read - especially over time. You can also emphasize a title by using ALL CAPS, which is hard to do with cursive writing.

Tour the class. Take a tour around the classroom to check to see that dates are being placed relatively well. I found it easier to begin with just a few dates such as Creation, Jesus' Birth, and even the child's own birthday especially with kids in third and fourth grade.

Depending on your students, these few dates can be enough for a first sitting and is useful in gaining a "sense of history". It anchors the spanse of time involved in studying history. It's encouraging to kids to find that "that's all there is", that it really all fits on a chart if you write neatly and well.

Make History Timelines Fun!

I remember the days when I taught several different ages of our own children to place dates on their timelines. Our older children had drawn their own with ruler and pens, but had I printed the following printable timeline template for our younger children.

Printing the basicx was much easier! We all sat at the dining room table with the older children between the younger children. The older children and I helped the younger children place the main dates.

The first dates are the trickiest. We kept a 3x5 card to use as a ruler. Use your own style, but it might help to know that I've been glad to use

  • a lower case b with a period for the term "born" and 
  • lower case d. for "died" with the date. 

Although, if you're going to use your timeline through the years, you might want to stick with the birth or death. Some books don't say which and that's why we often have both.

These timeline pages have the tick marks for one thousand years per ten inches on a page. Each inch marks a century and each tick marks a decade. If the date is marked with the event, birth, or death; it helps the children mark accurate placement of the names.

We have fun putting the "good guys" in the top space and "bad guys" in the bottom space under the line. The more we liked them or the more obviously great the event or person was the higher we placed them on our chart. The worse they were, the lower they were placed.

Teach Geography With A History Timeline Template

Use Uncle Josh's Maps With Your Timeline Template

Since History and Geography go hand in hand, it's also an awesome idea to keep printable world maps in the same binder or folder for easy reference.

We use The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide as it covers vocabulary and the use of maps with history.

I print the maps from Uncle Josh's Outline Map Book or CD-Rom on card stock and hole punch to keep in my binder. I keep the current one I'm using loose so I can refer to it easily. 

Oh, and so often history books do not have maps in easy places so I keep an extra copy in the back of the history book so we can mark it as we study. 

Printable History Timeline Template Tips

In conclusion I'd like to say that teaching history used to scare me. Not now! It's super interesting and like filling in a puzzle. We find ourselves adding dates even when we're not "studying".

Hm.... "When was that?"

Just like we turn to our globe when talking about world issues, we also turn to our timeline when we're piecing together how events turned.

  • 3x5 card and hole punched. It's handy to flip to the right page when the timeline is printed single sided, hole punched, and stored in a binder. Use a 3x5 card to draw straight lines, it takes up very little space and fits in a folder pocket.
  • Be patient. The more students you have and the younger they are, the more help they'll need; but there are fewer dates necessary in the early grades and this is a great head start for their future studies in history and geography.
  • Be encouraged. The older your students, the more they'll appreciate the effort. Young or old your students will all appreciate this "break from schoolwork" and they'll learn as they go.
  • Bring history to life with my free printable timeline template. Enjoy!