I love timelines. The Prairie Primer has students make a timeline of the 1800s and a presidential timeline all the way back to President Washington; so I combined the two to make one long timeline all the way from 1776 until 1899. Why not? While we won't be focusing on major events of early America, it is important that the kids have a snap shot of where we are in history in conjunction to those major events while we read The Little House series.
For the timeline, I use butcher paper that I buy in a huge roll from Home Depot or Lowe's, which is less expensive than art stores and will last for years. My hallway is about 200", so we have a lot of room to work with. For this timeline, I measured approximately 1.6" for every year from 1776 to 1899, and then I just wrote out the years in two year increments to make it easier on my wrist. I use acrylic paints to paint the backgrounds, and I used the Playbill font to paint the titles of the time periods.
The New Nation & Westward Expansion
Civil War Era
Gilded Age - Progressive Era
Most of the events in Laura's early life took place during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
I am thinking of using one of these images to trace onto index cards to use on the timeline for information that we want to record. But I am not settled, yet. Still have some time to figure it out.