- Review why and how timelines are used. (history and science textbooks, Facebook, baby books, biographies, etc). They show the reader how things, events, or people change over time. Project timelines can help people know how to manage time to achieve a goal.
- Display examples of timelines from a document camera or interactive whiteboard, if possible, and discuss how much information can be learned from the different timelines. Some timelines are annotated (added information in captions) and others are only dates and events. Which are more useful for students to learn from?
- Review background information about the Marquis de Lafayette: volunteering to serve in the American Army for free, his young age (19), his influence with France, his role with General Washington, his Revolutionary battle losses and wins.
- Explain to the students that they will be creating an annotated timeline to explain about Lafayette's tour of Alabama 50 years after the Revolution ended.
- Assign students to work in small groups
- Distribute the Encyclopedia of Alabama's article about Lafayette's Grand Tour.
- The teacher should read aloud the first 3 paragraphs, discussing the background of Lafayette's role in the Revolution and his years back in France.
- Allow students to read the remaining text in small groups, while highlighting dates, events, and people involved.
- Discuss any vocabulary as needed.
- When most have finished reading and highlighting, allow time for a class discussion about Lafayette's time in Alabama.
- If time and technology are available, allow students to search for information about Lafayette's Grand Tour in other states. The additional information may be helpful as a comparison to Alabama's celebration.
- Display the photographs that illustrate the places that still remain that were visited and discuss the events that occurred at each one. Photographs are located in the Attachments section.
- Display the receipt of the Lafayette celebration and discuss the huge expense to the Alabama government. Is anything on the list surprising? Explain why some items are necessary, like all the pickled food. Are the prices unusual? How would they compare today? If possible, use the measuringworth.com website to compare money from 1825 to the present.
- Remind students of the life in rural, lower Alabama in the early 1800's. Who would be a part of the tour? (townspeople, land owners, slaves?) How would they dress? What transportation would be available to them? What political leaders would Lafayette meet? What roles would slaves and Native Americans play in the tour? How would the Alabama tour be different than other states he visited?
- Distribute the legal size paper and have the students draw a line down the center of the paper, lengthwise.
- Ask the students to give the dates and events that were highlighted. (Teacher may write them on the board or under document camera.)
- Model how to add the dates to create a timeline (using a document camera or on the board). Be sure to spread out the dates enough to annotate them.
- Allow students time to complete the timeline and annotate each date with a brief summary of each event.
- Illustrate appropriately and add a title.
- Remind students that annotations and illustrations should reflect life in rural, lower Alabama in the early 1800's.
- Encourage students to include information and illustrations that reflect Lafayette and the entourage, townspeople that Lafayette may have met, a farmer, a political leader, a Creek Indian, and a slave or servant. Each would have had a different perspective.
- Allow students to share a few annotations as examples of successful summaries.
- Compare Lafayette's visit to Alabama to one that a dignitary from Europe might get today. How would the people involved, events and supplies be different?