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Mexican History in 3D: Creating an Interactive Timeline


Social Studies  


2, 3  

Title: Mexican History in 3D: Creating an Interactive Timeline

By: Michelle Lynn Hofmann
Primary subject: Social Studies
Secondary subjects: Art, History, Culture, Language Arts, Mathematics, Hispanic CultureĀ 

Performance Expectations

Students will be able to:

  • Research the history of Mexico using a variety of sources
  • Understand the unique contributions of Mexican culture
  • Recognize Hispanic influence throughout history
  • Illustrate Mexican history and culture by creating a three-dimensional display and mural


Allow students to engage in research in small groups. Encourage them to record their findings in their research/reflective journals and to take notes. This should be an ongoing lesson that the students may add to throughout the duration of this cluster unit.


  • Research resources: books, videos, websites, handouts, illustrations
  • Yarn/string
  • Tape
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Modeling clay
  • Paint
  • Butcher paper
  • Tacks/pins
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Journals


Introduction: Discuss the beginnings of Mexican civilization, highlighting several major occurrences for the students to focus on. Use other examples of timelines depicting familiar subject matter as models for the class. Along one wall, construct a base timeline from butcher paper. Provide plenty of room for pictures and text to be added, along with space for displays above or underneath.


  1. Have the students divide into groups to research a specific time period in Mexican history. The teacher should guide discussion and research when necessary within the groups.
  2. Students will continue to utilize the sources provided and encouraged to explore outside as well.
  3. They will record their notes in their journals with their reflections.
  4. From these, they will pull components to make markers along their section of the timeline.
  5. Each student will contribute to the 3D timeline by making a display item for the mural. Artistic freedom should be allowed: collages, paintings, drawings with text, sculpture, sketches, models, and so on.


Students will be assessed according to attentiveness to the task, group cooperation and participation, and completion of a timeline display item.


  • Students could choose alternative forms to report their research: narratives, dialogues, plays, mock journals of explorers, and so on
  • Students may be assigned topics and/or the students may choose themselves
  • Students may create a topographic map using clay and other malleable medium and research different areas of Mexico


Students will share what they learned through their contribution to the timeline. The finished timeline may be displayed in the classroom or a school hallway.

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