How do I use the Art Era Timeline?

Here are some tips and practical ideas on how to use your downloaded Art Era Timelines.

Bind the downloads as an Art Book of the Centuries ~

Francesco Petrarca. Portrait belonging to the ...

Image via Wikipedia

I bound my printout and made a simple spiral bound book and we use it to reference our artist or art movement.

The book format works well if you  flip through the pages to find artist.  Your children may recognise the thumbnail of the work studied.  They will also notice other works of the same art style.

Your children may need to transfer the dates to a more formal timeline for clarity.

We use a Wall Chart ~

This is a wonderful method because the children can see in one glance, where and when events and eras took place in relation to other events in History.


Timeline Wall Chart

I made this chart myself on the back of our Large World Map.  I divided the vertical space into the centuries from 5000 BC to 2000 AD and divided the lines across in decades.

My timeline zigzags to form a flowing timeline.

I coloured some of the timeline eras in different colours; the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution etc.

Also, because I covered the wall chart in packaging tape to protect it, we write details on our wall chart with coloured white board markers.

This is how we use our Art Era Timeline on the Wall Chart:

  • We write the artist’s name and birthdate and stick the picture of the artist or the thumbnail of his most famous works on the timeline.
  • We use a different colour for different art eras and mark off all the years that the art movement occurred.
  • We only update the timeline once a week, or even less.  I find it helpful for an introduction to an artist.
  • The kids look for the year and write the name of the artist above his biographic dates.
  • It is also a good way of concluding a study.  When we have finished studying an artist, we update the timeline and see how his works fit into an era.

As you can see, the chart does get crowded.  This is the only disadvantage of a smaller scale wall chart.

Here you can see the timeline figures I use ~


Timeline Figures

These came with my first kindergarten Sonlight purchase. They did not come with all the artists we have studied. We make/ draw/ download pictures of famous artists for the timeline.

I coloured the edges of my figures to help distinguish between the different history cores I was using.

You could use this system to highlight Art figures ( highlighted in 1 colour) different from Notable People (edged in another colour), History (edged in another colour),  from Inventions (a 3rd colour) or Wars (a 4th colour).

At the end of our year we play games and use our timeline figures for  review:

  • group the figures according to categories (discoverers, artists, Bible characters)
  • quiz – give 2 facts for each figure
  • arrange 3/5 figures in time order

Here is our Book of Centuries Timeline ~


Book Of Centuries Time time

We used this timeline method while we were travelling and I could not display our timeline chart in our school room.

Each child pastes in their pictures or information and uses the blank page to write more information.

It is a very personal timeline.  Each child adds to their Book of Centuries and it becomes a rich historical resource.

An adolescent needs to start a new Book of Centuries as they sometimes become critical of earlier entries.  They need a blank book to map and record their more mature insights and intellectual understanding.

There are some excellent Book of Centuries with sections devoted to different themes on each page.

This is more appropriate for older students.  Young children sometimes cannot “see” the full picture and how their details fit into the larger scheme of time.

In the same way as explained above, add the names, biographies, thumbnails, pictures and information of the artists or art movements on the relevant pages.  This method offers much more space and so your children can fill more information on the page than on the wall chart.

And lastly, you could make a continuous Timeline Strip ~

I don’t have my first strip timeline photographed, but I used a looooooong strip of sturdy paper, divided into all the centuries and pasted this all around the room at the top of our school room wall.

This was a fantastic method!  The children could see exactly where and when historical events occurred.

It was easy to refer to Biblical eras and see how long ago these events took place.  Also,there were several eras when lots of new events, inventions and changes took place in very short space of time.  This was easy to see during the Renaissance or in the late 18th Century. This cluster could be expanded by making the timeline strip wider to accommodate all the figures and information.

One disadvantage is that the children can’t write or paste items on the wall strip because it is a struggle to climb up to reach the timeline.

You can read more here about our history timeline.

Simply Charlotte Mason have a Book of Centuries pictured and described here and a free pdf download here.

Heart of the Matter offers simple directions on how to make a time line here.

Heather made a free Book of Centuries template download.  (You need to write your own years in on the top of the pages.)

And, of course, please visit my Free Pages to make sure you have downloaded all the free stuff! 🙂

6 thoughts on “How do I use the Art Era Timeline?

  1. Thank you! I am trying to use something this year that does not require a 3-ring binder, as those tend to get cumbersome.



  2. What is A4 size? Could you possibly measure it? It almost looks ledger-book sized. It looks similar to the one Sonlight sells, but yours has lines. I went to Footprints Into Our Land, but has no luck trying to find a timeline, so I am assuming it is not sold as a separate item.

    Thanks so much, Nadene! You are such a blessing to me!


    • Our South African print paper is A4 – about 11″ x 8″ (29,5cm x 21cm). I don’t think the books are sold separately, but any format will work. You can print out any timeline and have your stationer ring bind it for you. Hope this helps 🙂


  3. I wondered about your Book of Centuries Timeline that is spiral-bound in the picture? Where did you get it? What are its dimentions (it looks biiger in the picture than 8 x 11)?

    Thank you so much! As always, it is an inspiration to get your posts!



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