Foam work and time line labels ate the productive hours today. Only three elements and a little glue required to be ready for painting now. What a relief it will be to have that project complete. The elements remaining are the cloak attachments and the sword and shield, principle pieces for which are now all cut. I am way behind on build videos and going to devote some time to trying to finish one tonight.
I had a question about the time line I’ve been making and I guess I have not explained the project very well so far. A time line is a pretty indispensable teaching tool and pretty much every classroom needs one. In the past I have bodged up something similar, but without as much detail or orderliness as this new one. Typically a class room time line is used to order a small portion of events around a specific topic like the ‘Gold Rush’ or ‘Ancient Rome’. I have always found such time lines inadequate, they don’t have room for broader consequences or causes and they rarely give a contextual relationship to the students lifetime. This project is an attempt to create a timeline that includes at the start a whole bunch of critical events and dates as well as the lifetimes of a great number of famous historical figures.
My time line will be 14m long and will stretch across the whole wall above my whiteboard and around the corner slightly at each end. It will use a log scaling to allow inclusion of the big bang at the left end and one hundred years in the future at the right. It will have 1m for this year, to the left and right of this year 1m for ten years in the past and future. Beyond them another meter to the left and right for the 100 years before and beyond that. After that it extends only left each meter a length of time ten times the previous. Most of the final meter is unnecessary as the Big bang will be right at the right edge of that frame but it wont fit otherwise.
Today I added another twenty or so name and event labels and then began the odious task of transferring all I’ve made so far into Indesign as Illustrator was beginning to have serious difficulty with the file size.
One thought on “Making Progress”
The question for me is how do you get kids to understand the whole concept of time in relation to themselves. We are all good at understanding events that are personal to us, part of our own life story but outside of that it is a difficult concept to grasp. As someone who studied history at university I was recently shocked to realise that World War 2 ended only 8 years before I was born, even though I knew the dates I hadn’t realised what they actually meant. Eight years seems a short space of time for our culture to deal with the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of Auschwitz and the holocaust, the death of 60 million people, possibly as many as 80 million in the conflict. As I grew up it always seemed very long ago, somehow not relevant to the here and now. Perhaps seeing history through the eyes of children living through it might make it real.