I know that many of you teach chemistry in a traditional order of topics -- atoms, bonding, reactions, stoichiometry, etc. However, I walked away from that order six years ago and started teaching in a chronological order when I began using Modeling Instruction in my classroom. During the second year of "walking in the footprints of the scientists that came before us", I wanted my students to see where they were walking and a colleague* and I came up with the idea of making footprints for each of those scientists and posting them on a timeline.
Walking in the Footsteps of Scientists Who Came Before Us
We started this timeline with the four elements -- Earth, Water, Fire, Wind (air). Then we moved to Democritus (400 BC) who gave us the word "atom" and of course, there are no other chemistry milestones in our history until the 1600's.
Attached to this post, you will find the elements (earth, water, fire & wind) the quote I use with the elements, the timeline date markers, and the footprints. These are all in WORD documents and the color of the footprint can easily be changed to "fit" the teachers classroom, as can the date marker, etc. You may put the timeline up all at one time or add to it as the year progresses. Either way, I hope that it will be a useful tool for your curriculum.
NOTE: As of 3/30/17 - The posters have been compiled into 8.5" x 11" and tabloid size sets that you may download. You will still find two Word documents that you may edit if you wish to add more "steps" to your timeline.
*I would like to acknowledge my colleage, Bill Thornburgh, that helped me develop this idea. He is working on his PhD in Science Education at University of Louisville.
Laura Slocum was honored as the 2017 James Bryant Conant Awardee. Read Tracing the Steps to the Conant Award (accessed 9/2017).
NOTE: As of 3/30/17 - The original set of posters have been compiled into 8.5" x 11" and tabloid size sets that you may download. You will still find two Word documents that you may edit if you wish to add more "steps" to your timeline. Also, the author published 12 additional footsteps on 4/24/17 to add to the timeline. You will find them as one pdf as supporting information.