Personal Timeline

Suggested Grades



Students will gain a better understanding of the concepts “BC/BCE” and “AD/CE” creating a timeline of their lives using the terms “BM” (before me) and “AB” (after birth).


  • roll of butcher paper, as long as you would like the time lines to be
  • markers
  • rulers
  • pencils


  • Draw a line across the roll of paper about half way up from the bottom edge.
  • Mark off an equal number of centimetres per year through the length of the line.
  • Write out a list of personal events that they would like to label on their timeline,
  • About 1/4 of the way in put in a mark and identify it as their birthdate.
  • Continue by labeling in all of the personal events that they were able to come up with.
  • Ask students to interview someone to come up with a list of major family events that occurred before the student was born.
  • Enter these events onto the timeline.
  • Above these events enter at least 10 major world events that occurred before and after their birth.
  • Label all the years with either “BM” or “AB”.