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Colonial Times-Communication, Transportation, Recreation: Open

Phase: Open

Academic Vocabulary

Throughout the unit, record academic vocabulary on chart paper or a Google document and refer back to it.


English    Español
past    pasado
present   presente
future    futuro
timeline cronología


To Do


  • Timeline Blocks
    • Make copies of timeline blocks and cut out one for each student
    • Make a timeline representing the teacher (cut out and tape together)
    • Make a timeline representing the librarian (cut out and tape together)

Additional Supplies:

  • clipboards, one per student
  • pencils, one per student
  • blank History journals, one per student
  • glue sticks
  • document camera, if available

Developing Concepts about Time & Chronology- 'Third Space"

Time & Chronology Activity / Suggested Time: 10 minutes

Paper base 10 blocks can be a powerful tool for teaching concepts about time and chronology.

Provide each student with a strip of ten base 10 blocks.

Ask students to number the blocks according to how old they are-- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, (8) and to stop at the age they are right now. Student will then tear off (or fold) any extra blocks.

Modeling: Write I am..... years old. Ask students to circle the age they are right now and copy the sentence.

Teacher talk:

Right now you are six or seven (or eight) years old. A word for right now is the present. Oftentimes we use the word present to describe a gift. In social studies when we use the word present, it means right now in time. It means today.

Now let's count back in time. We call this time the past. If today you are six, then last year you were five. You were five in the past. Let's count together. Start with the age you are today. 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Turn and Talk:

Choose a time in your past (e.g., age 5) and tell your partner something that happened when you were that age (e.g., I learned to ride a bike when I was 5 years old). Share selected responses with the class. 


Ask students to glue their personal timeline into their journal on the first page.


Reinforce the terms past, present, and future by displaying this example using a document camera:

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