Timeline of an adult

Age group

8-10 years

Primary CMS area


  • Finding work and assessing learning

I learn throughout life

  •  Managing life and career
    • I am innovative and creative in my thinking about my work, learning and life
    • I maintain a balance in my life, learning and work that is right for me
    • I can cope with challenges and changes which take place in life
  • Understanding the world

Unit Description

The students draw a timeline of an adult person’s life and present the timelines for each other and discuss what to be learnt on life.

Activity 1. A time line

Learning outcomes

Students gain insight into an adult’s educational and job history and important events in his/her life. The activity gives the students insight into how a life can unfold. It increase their awareness that in their neighborhood and network there are both knowledge, experiences and narratives that relate to careers and which can inspire students’ own reflections on life including career. Students gain insight that careers are often not planned but develop under the influence of chance and happenstance.

Activity Name

Timeline of an adult


The students work together in groups to draw a timeline over the life of an adult. Each group of students work with an adult around a timeline for his/her life.

For example, it can be adults at school, in the community, among students’ families and networks, or in the network of the teacher. Collaboration can take place in class during school hours or outside school during school or leisure time.

Teachers preparation
The teacher must find an adult for each group – or ensure that each group has an adult to work with.
The teacher introduces the adult to the task.

Introduction for the students
The teacher introduces the students to the concept of timeline. What is a timeline?How to make it? Which information can you e.g. put into a timeline?
The teacher can draw his own timeline on the board and tell about his life.
The teacher tells the students that they in groups now have to make a timeline for an adult person’s life together with the adult.
The timeline is as long as the person’s life. E.g. if she is 36 the timeline is 36 cm/inches long.
The students will draw the timeline while talking to the adult.
The teacher and the students talk about how to pose questions to the adult to support him/her in telling his/her story so the students thereby can draw the timeline. 

The students talk to an adult and draw his/her timeline while talking 

Presentation of the time lines
The students hang the timeline on the wall.
The students present the timelines for each other so that each student gets insight to two timelines for two other adults.
The teacher and the students reflect together on what they noticed about life and career on the basis of the timeline.

Learning materials

A blackboard and chalk
Posters for drawing the timeline


Introduction for the students (30 minutes)
Drawing a timeline (45 minutes)
Presentation of timelines (30 minutes)
Joint reflection at the class (30 minutes)

Role of the Teachers

Find adults who will talk to the students about their life. Or support that the students find adults to talk to in groups. The teacher facilitates the students reflections on the timelines.


  • In order to support pupils’ increased knowledge of the world of work and horizon expansion, it is important that the teacher as a professional is aware of the norms that he brings into the classroom and reproduces in the teaching and the everyday life of the school. It may be norms about which educations and jobs are ‘suitable’ respectively boys and girls, which education and jobs are more or less worthy of recognition, etc.
  • It is important to consider how, as a professional, one can work norm-critical and pay attention not to – intentionally or unintentionally – reproduce such norms.
  • The teacher must also consider and be aware how he or she talks about people who do not have paid work.
  • if, as a teacher, you want to break down and change norms, it is important to be aware which new norms arise and whom or what they may or may not exclude intentionally or unintentionally (read more about norm-critical pedagogy in Wikstrand & Lindberg, 2016, p 31-33).
It is important to see the activity as a part of a continuous effort to support students’ career learning through the years in school.
The learning unit has been prepared for the age group 8-10 years. Students and classes can differ greatly in this age group. It is important that the teacher adapt the activity to his or her group of pupils so that it is re-didactivated and differentiated to ensure progression for all pupils.

Students make a timeline. Students talk with each other about timelines and the life of people. Their reflections are supported by the teacher.