Creating a Neighborhood Time Line

Students continue to examine their neighborhood by reading and researching information from its earliest days to the present. They uncover facts about the area's unique geology, its Native American and Colonial history, its metamorphosis from farm land to city, and its recent role in the civil rights movement. With their senior friends' help, they build a Time Line of the community.

For more about Special #3 from Discovering the Richness of Roxbury~Neighbohood Know-How, e-mail Alma Wright, author and AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Learning Standards
  • Read content area materials.
  • Establish simple chronology in their own historical narratives.
  • Identify examples of change/continuity in their lives, and those of people long ago and today.
  • Use simple time lines.
  • Classroom Activities
    Students visit the library and local historical society. To retrieve literature on their community, they work with librarians and read about history during several periods including:
  • Glacial formation.
  • Native American culture.
  • European settlement.
  • Colonial and Revolutionary periods.
  • Agricultural growth.
  • Post Civil War urbanization.
  • Demographic changes.
  • Urban renewal
  • The Civil Rights movement

  • Taking notes on community growth and development, student groups divide eras in terms of centuries and decades. They affix index cards to taped lines on the chalk board and begin a Time Line noting prehistoric eras and historic happenings from the seventeenth century. With the expansion of the Time Line, student groups select specific periods and develop simple narrative essays about related people and events. They also begin to collect artifacts including samples of local pudding stone and photos of community leaders reflecting the richness of their neighborhood.
    Community Activities
    Students invite senior citizens to school and share their Time Line along with their collection of photos, artifacts, and stories.
    Visits to the library and the historical society motivate students to research careers: geologists, archeologists, and museum curators.
    Lower Roxbury A Community of Treasures in the City of Boston by Ronald Bailey, 1993: The Afro Scholar Press; articles and photos about Roxbury; chalk board, tape, 3"x5" cards
    Students use ClarisWorks to write essays and research the Internet for historical events.
    Teachers, students, and seniors check Time Line for accuracy. Teacher marks essays on sentence clarity, sense, and sequence.

    Web Sites
    To learn what was happening in the United States during historic periods relating to their community, students log on at: