Timelines and Writer’s Notebooks

I divided my kids up into ten groups today, printed out my Google Class Calendar, and asked them to work with a partner to organize and illustrate a month of the year. We put all of the pieces together into one long timeline that spans 15 feet at the back of my classroom! So what does timelining have to do with writing? Well, one of my students, who is an avid writer, said, “STOP! I have to get my writer’s notebook so I know everything that happened in February.” (Feb. was the month she was assigned to complete with another student.) She retrieved her writer’s notebook and was able to go through each of her daily entries so that February was perfectly done. She knew her daily entries were often about classroom happenings and this allowed her to chronicle that month like none other.

I just stood back and smiled. I thought to myself Wow! Who would’ve thought that a writer’s notebook would be used to help them with this activity? Well don’t you know that two other kids ran to their notebooks to help them too since they also realized their notebooks were essentially artifacts of their fifth grade year.