Timeline project honors students' idols

Monticello Middle School seventh graders had plenty of eye-opening moments as they interviewed people over 50 years of age whom they admired as part of the annual Timeline Project.

After interviewing mostly grandmas and grandpas, they learned of the existence of outhouses and how people would share phone lines (“party lines”).

But there was one nugget that topped them all.

“Finding out that cell phones once came in a bag is a horrifying thought to them,” said seventh grade language arts teacher Katherine Sokolowski, who along with Melanie Stripens taught the Timeline unit in the fall.

“In October, students select a person over the age of 50 to interview about their life. In November students then worked to write up their interview and create a book about the life of their interviewee. In December we invite the students and their guests to come to the middle school for an evening Timeline Reception and they share the books wit the person they selected,” added Sokolowski.

That day – Dec. 4 – brought plenty of smiles and a few tears as stories were shared.

Students wrapped up the project by penning their responses to the moments shared with people now admire even more.

“I liked this project because I learned some things I never knew. Like when he told me he lived in over 20 houses and 12 schools,” said Colin Sheppard about his subject.

Jobi Smith couldn’t quite understand how learning occurred without modern-day technology.

“When he was a kid there were no computers and now its pretty hard to get your homework or anything done without one,” said Smith.

It’s a lot of work for students and staff, but Sokolowski said it was all worth it when things came together for the Dec. 4 meet up.

“Watching them read the books together, point out stories they remember, it is a heartwarming experience. There is a lot of laughter in the MMS cafeteria that night,” she said.

Student responses
Here is what students said they got out of the Timeline Project:

Kylie C. – I enjoyed learning about my grandpa and how he grew up.

Faith P. – I liked that we learned things about our grandparents and what their lives were like and how they learned when they were younger and what they used. i also liked that we could work together and read each others little paragraphs and know more about each others grandparents and got to see how different people lived in the old days.

Charle J. – I really enjoyed this project because I learned so much about my grandma, and my family’s history I probably wouldn’t have known without this.

Marley W. – I enjoyed learning about my grandma. There were a lot of really interesting things.

Wyatt V. – I liked this project because I learned a lot about my grandmother that I previously didn’t know.

Reagan P. – I liked doing this because I got to learn things about my grandmother and found out some things that I didn’t know.

Dylan B. – I really liked how it made my grandpa feel good and happy.

Matthew B. – I learned things I did not know about my grandma’s past.

Maggie T. – I enjoyed this project, because I got to know my grandma better and what her life was like when she was a kid.

Sam R. – I enjoyed this project because it was fun to learn more about my grandma.

Sawyer L. . – my grandmother has had some pretty memorable jobs in her lifetime”

Callie D. – I enjoyed this project, because I got to know my grandpa more. While interviewing my grandpa I learned more about how things were different then, and got to learn more about his childhood.

Alex M. – I felt that I got closer to my grandmother and that we bonded a lot more. I would enjoy doing this project again.  And even if we didn’t do it again, I would still do it. :)

Tavey Y. – I liked the project because I got to learn more about my grandma. Getting to know more about her childhood is fun. It’s cool to look back and see what they did during their free time and at school.

Gavin R. – I loved this project because it helps us learn the passed and how they lived. It also gives us time to connect with our grandparents.

Kelton G. – I enjoyed spending time with my grandpa and learning about his past.

Jeremiah W. – I loved this project because it helped me realize what the past was like for different people at the time. Some could live in the city, and some could live on the farm. My neighbor, Charlene Fitzpatrick, had a very interesting life. She worked at a smokehouse right across from Warner Brothers.

Hayden K. – I enjoyed this project. I feel like my grandpa and I got a little closer than we were before. I found this fun because I got to learn more about the 1950s and all of the other years before I was born. I was blown away by the prices of things in the past.

Kayden H. – It was an eye opening experience. I loved learning about my great grandma and I am glad we got to do this project.

Jordan C. – I loved this project because it inspired me to learn more about the time that we can’t go back to any more.

Jacob L. – I liked getting to know more about my grandma and I understand how much harder she had to work than me.

Jack M. – I learned what growing up was like in the past.

Jonathan R. – The thing that I liked most about the timeline project because I had learned about the way things used to be, and how my grandparents met each other. It was almost like a new perspective of a story that was told before, but not told properly until now.

Treyden F. – It blows my mind how much the prices of things have changed over time.

Alaric F. – I enjoyed learning about my Grandpa. I didn’t know much about his past, but now I know a lot more.

Joe W. – It’s not the destination that was important but the journey that you went on to get there. It was nice to hear what my Grandfather had to say about his life. 

Emma C. – I liked how I was able to learn a lot more about my Nana. She truly is amazing, and was a very hard worker. I love how she met my Papa in a coffee shop when she was making him coffee, when he was only a customer.

Lynnsey T. – I really enjoyed this project. I feel that I got closer to my neighbor and learned what things that she has done throughout her life. This was really interesting because I got to learn all the different and new things that she did as a child compared to me and my generation. For example, what music she listened to, what things she used in school, or even how much things cost back then.

Charlie m. – I loved that I get to learn about my grandma more.

I love that my grandma used a chalkboard.

Trey W. – I really learned a lot about the past and what life was like before I was born.

Hailey C. – I liked this project because I got to find out more about my grandma. I didn’t really know anything about her growing up. It was nice to get to know about things we don’t really talk about. I also liked getting to research the man on the moon since that was my grandma’s event she chose

Teresita B. – It showed me that my childhood is easier that their’s. But my favorite quotes is “God gave his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.” That’s what she would always say to me when I was feeling down!!

Tynley. J. – The Timeline project was a unforgettable experience. Learning so much about my grandma’s life also helped me learn more about other family. While looking through photos with her we would find pictures of friends and family and, while she would talk about what they could do for fun around where they lived. Overall, now feel closer to my grandma and family.

Caden M. – I liked the Timeline project because of how I got to learn more about my person as a really close friend. I felt good when I was making this Timeline project because I got to learn a lot about her and figure out what stuff she did.

Ryan W. – I liked the project because it got to tell me more about my Grandma. It was interesting how she met my Grandpa. I really know more about her now. If I could do the project again, I would.

Jerremy S. – The part that I liked was that we got to know a lot about the person that we interviewed. The part the I like was to see how much thing cost. When my person was little, the prices today are like triple the price they were then. My person did the 9/11 for the historical event and I knew a lot about that, cause we researched about that in class. We got to see what kind of electronics they had when they were little. We learned where they grew up and what there house was like and who they had in their family. If you interview you gram you could learned about you old family. Overall this was a cool thing for Mrs.S do lets us do, a thing like this I really enjoyed it. We got to learn about the people and a lot of the stuff that we learned about them we did not know be for, about what life was like before we were alive and our parents were alive.         

Samuel S. – I loved this and how we were doing this on our grandparents. We all loved to interview are grandparents. I loved to get together with my grandma. I learned some new thing that I wouldn’t think my grandma would do with my mom and Aunt She loves me and I love her. She is my grandma.

Allison C. – I loved doing the timeline project because I got to learn more about my grandma! I enjoyed learning about her childhood was different than mine. I loved how we got to turn them into booklets and my grandma is excited to have it! I loved doing the timeline project!

Nick P. – I had really fun time with this project because I got to learn some stuff about my Grandpa I didn’t know. I also liked talking to him about what he did growing up. Saldy my Grandpa can’t attend the reception because he lives 3-4 hours away.

Deacon B. – I have always known that my uncle is a daredevil ,but I never really knew about my uncle’s childhood. Now that I know, I wonder why the world has taken such a bad turn. There was always fun and peace in Champaign and Monticello, but now it is full of bad and gruesome people. Sometimes I wish I lived in the 70s where you could ride in the back of trucks hang out with friends whenever. Most of all my uncle had a great bond with his family and that really reflects off of him as an adult.

Leah R. – I liked doing this project because it gave me more time to spend with my grandma. I also loved learning more about her and how different her childhood was than mine. Also, my grandma loved telling me more about her life and I learned a lot of things that I wouldn’t have learned because of this project. I hope in the future we can do another project like this because it was really fun and I enjoyed doing it.

Joshua S. – I liked doing this project because I got to figure out stuff about someone that I never would have ever known, and I got to sort of bond with my person and it was a very fun activity.

Jack T. – I loved to do this project one, because my grandma taught me new things about her. Whenever I first did this project I thought my grandma was going to speak a lot- but she didn’t. (My grandma speaks a lot). Whenever I first did this assignment my grandma was very uncomfortable, then she got comfortable and she started to get really funny. I wanted to be very specific with this project because I LOVE my grandma and she will always be in my heart!

Tynley J. – The Timeline project was an unforgettable experience. Learning so much about my grandma’s life also helped me learn more about other family members. While looking through photos with her we would find pictures of friends and family and, while she would talk about what they could do for fun around where they lived. I overall now feel closer to my grandma and family.

Emma D. – I liked the timeline project it was a fun learning experienced. I learned that my grandma doesn’t have a lot of pictures of herself. The timeline project was kind of an important thing to me because I learned a lot of things that I need to know about my family. I also learned things that i need to watch for in my future. 

Myles v. – It was fun,  it was cool learning about my Grams’s child hood and who she grew up with. It was fun writing about her and her life when she was growing up. It was cool learning were she grew up too.

Tristan S. – My grandmother and I have gotten much closer to each other than before, and even though we were already really close, I got to learn more about her, see her life in her eyes, rather than mine, and I was able to see what it meant to live to the fullest. My grandmother gave life everything she had and she took  as much as she could get from life, and she is still going, my grandmother has become a role-model of mine after this projet. Overall I’m thankful for my teachers who allowed us to do this, and I’m thankful for my grandmother, who I know now as a pillar of self joy, happiness, success, and an amazing mother, grandmother, aunt, and daughter.

Monty S. – Let me get it started on what I learned about my hero grandma. Where do I began, I look at her a whole different way. Just what she had to go through just to become the wonderful woman she is today. I learned that women are can be young powerful leaders.  This timeline has gotten me and my grandma  a whole lot closer, Through all the laughs and all hard work she still comes out number one in my heart.

Sylvie H. – I liked that I could learn about my grandpa, and I feel like I can compare how his life was a lot harder than mine is. I also learned that he has the exact same personality from when he was younger to now. I really liked that we could write about what they wanted so we can make them happy and they can enjoy this with us. I think it’s cool how we could be more independent on what we wrote about. I like how we are going to have a reception for the books so they can come and see what we had to interview them for and see how hard we have been working on these. I really enjoyed making this about my grandpa and i’m excited for him to read it!

Charlie B. – I really loved learning about my grandma and her childhood. It is really crazy how there childhood and ours is a lot different and I just can’t believe that. I got to learn about my great grandparents too! Which was really cool I don’t really remember them. I really loved finding out about others history and what it was like for them to grow up. I found lots of things very interesting. I also really liked getting to know other peoples family and not just mine. I couldn’t have made this project so great without you. I definitely would do something like this again it was so cool to learn my family’s history!

Kendall E. – I loved doing this project. When I am with my Grandma Jani she soemtimes tells me stories about my mom and my uncle when they were young but, we have never really talked about her life when she was young. During this project I got to learn so much about my grandma. I also learned so many things about family memebers that I have never even met. I am very interested to learn about the history of people and how it was back in their time period. The things that I learned fasinated me in every way. I saw so many old pictures of her and they were so cool. They were black and white and vintage and so cool to look at my grandma when she was young. It was so fun just to sit down and talk to my grandma. We made lots of jokes about things and laughed so many times. It was such a fun process with her. This was the best project ever!

Olivia – The Time Line project was a great learning experience form me because My grandpa means the world to me. I could right a paragraph but i WOuld like to put it at this. I grew up with my grandpa at my house a lot and he is more of a dad than my biological dad. He is always be there for me and don’t know what I would do if I lost him. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it wasn’t for him so I thank him for that. This project really touched close to home for me. Richard Greenarch for all you have been through I love you.

Isaac G. – I liked how we got to turn them into booklets. It is cool that after interviewing my grandma that I get to bring home an early Christmas present for her. She will be so excited to see what the interview turned into. She will be proud at how I put facts in slides and added extra information at school. I learned that her parents met at a bowling alley and played in bowling leagues. I also learned that she was friends with Bonnie Blair. Finally, I learned what jobs she had and that she retired last year.

Noah N. – This was Very fun because I got to interact with people I know and love. If I had to do it again I would do it in a heartbeat. This was by far the most fun thing to do. My grandma liked doing it to. Sadly my grandma will not be able to attend to the reception because she is 2 hours away. My favorite thing about this project was getting to know more about my grandma. I hope we can do this more often than homework. Mrs. Stripens is the best teacher in the world and the nicest. Thanks for letting me have a good learning experience.

Kayden W. – I had a lot of fun doing this project, because I got to learn more about my Grandma that I didn’t know about and other people get to learn about her from this projects. I loved learning more about my grandma and the things that she went through as a young girl to now today. I enjoyed when everyone was reading mine, and I also liked how helpful my class was to help me make my project even better.

Makayla S. – I loved many things about the Timeline Project unit, but a one thing stuck out more than others. First of all I liked to learn about my grandmother and her childhood.  Also, spending time in the classroom working on this was so fun to see everyone’s family while we edited others packets. Seeing how everyone’s history differed was super fun.

Juliana S. – I could right a paragraph but I just want to say that I loved learning about my nanas life. This Timeline Project helped me do that.

Richie W. – I enjoyed it and then it was very independent if you didn’t get it done you would half to make it up with the homework that day also. We did one slide a day and that made it very relaxed and knowing what you are doing each day.

Megan H. – The Timeline Project was really fun because we got to interview adults who we knew, and were able to get to know them better. I got to interview my grandma,  and I found out many things about her that I didn’t know before. Hearing all the stories she had to share about her life were really interesting. The project helped me get to know her better, and to know more about the recent past. Overall I really like this project, and if I were able to do it again I would.

Cole S. – I loved this project because of all of the storys. It was also good to get to know a loved one even more. You also get to learn about other family and what it was like back the.

Ryder S. – I liked this project because I got to learn a little bit more about my grandma than before. I know for sure how many siblings she has and where she lived and what she did when she was little. I’m really glad we got to do this.

Taylor D. – I really enjoyed finding out how my grandpa lived and how much his life varied from todays life. My grandpa is very special to me and I’m ecstatic to share his experiences to people. This project is memorable because I’ve learned life lessons from my grandpa, my friend’s special people they wrote about, and my teachers. This was a great way to learn about life before us.

Brayden R. – I really enjoyed doing the timeline project. I found out how different things were just a few years ago. My grandma had some very cool memories from her childhood. I loved to write and hear about them.

Lexi C. – The timeline project was a very fun project and eye opening. I never realized how much my grandma had in common and also how different we were. This project helped me understand her POV as a child when she was younger. I feel like a lot of other students became closer with their family. I also enjoyed learning about how she described everything. It made me feel like I lived her life as well.

Rylee R. – While doing this Timeline project I got to learn alot about my great grandpa. I really got to see how his childhood and life were like.

Evan H. – This was a really cool project that really let me know a lot about my grandma. There were stories she told me that I had never heard before. It was fun to hear her tell the stories that she hadn’t really thought about in a long time, yet still had a place in her mind and heart.

Sierra S. – I feel like I got a lot closer to my grandma. Getting to know her was an interesting story. I learned that she has ten brothers that she hung out with all the time. I would wright more but this is all i can wright. I’ve never felt any more close to grandma than i do now, after I’ve taken the time to get to know her. I liked to get to know my grandma.

Christina M. – I liked this project because I got to know a lot more things about my grandma and how she lived. Another thing I liked was how hard we worked on this big project. It’s amazing on how I learned from my grandma and her experiences. 

Kami V. – The Timeline Project was really cool. I like how we got to lean about our family and bring us closer to are loved ones. I also thought that it helped us understand the person more.

Rylan G. – I liked this project becuase I got to learn more about my grandparents and how to properly interview someone. I learned that my grandma knows how to ice-skate.

Max – I liked this project because if we didnt know alot about the people that we did for our project on, we got a chance to realize what they did as a child and recognize all of their accomplishments, they probably like it just as much to be with their grandkids or neighbors.

Vidhi P. – I liked to have this Timeline Project as an excuse to find out more about my grandpa. This Timeline Project was a great way to know about how our grandparents lived in the past, and what they have witnessed.

Joshua K. – I like how we put a lot of work into this and that is wasn’t even hard and that I got to know my grandma better.

Sandy R.. – I felt like I got to be a lot more close to grandma because of this timeline. I also felt like I got to know my grandma’s life a little bit more.

caleb k. – I think when I did the timeline project I got to know more about my grandma.

Luke k. – I learned a lot about my grandma’s history.

Cadence R. – It was fun to learn about my granddpa, and his thoughts, and feelings about his past. I liked this project, because I got to learn more about my grandpa, and who he was.

Ramsey E. – I liked the timeline project because I got to know my grandma more, and what she lived through.

Mei Mei G. – It was very interesting learning about my grandma who is from a different time period and also is from a different country.

Wade U. – I liked doing this project because I got to know my uncle a lot more. It showed me how they used to do things then vs. now. Also learning about his childhood.

Reese P. – While doing the timeline project I got to learn new things about my grandma. My favorite thing I learned was that she had a dog named Mickey growing up.

Quentin S. – I love my grandma because she is a great person all together and that the fact that I didn’t know so much about her is sad, but thankfully this project let me elaborate on what my grandma has done in her lifetime so I can understand where she came from and the kind of childhood that she had.

Colin S. – I liked this project because I learned some things I had never knew. LIke when he told me he lived in over 20 houses and 12 schools. That’s insane. And they he lived in a cabin multiple times and that’s pretty cool. And the way he lived when he was younger is pretty fascinating to me.

Levi S. – I loved the timeline project. It was fun to learn about my grandma. She told me things I never knew about her. I got to learn what life was like when my grandma was younger, and it was very interesting to listen to.

Jack W. – I felt like I got a lot closer to my grandmother. I loved to learn and interview her about her childhood and her life as an adult.

Charlie D. – It was cool to learn about my grandma and see what it was like back then.

Lybbie D. – I loved getting to learn all the interesting things that happened in my grandmas childhood. Now I feel like I got to know my grandma a little more and it was cool to see what it was like for her when she was my age.

Louisa R. – I liked the timeline project because it made me feel closer to my grandpa and helped me get to know him better.

Chloe S. – The project was an eye opening experience. It made me realize how much family I do have, and how some small things make a big impact on a person. I got to learn more about my grandpa and my past relatives. It was nice to interview my grandpa and spend time with him to learn more about him, and his whole family.

Jobi S. – I really like it because I got to learn about my grandpa, and I found out some things that I had not known before. It was also cool to find out how different our life styles were. When he was a kid there were no computers and now its pretty hard to get your homework or anything done without one.

Olivia E. – I liked the timeline project because I learned more about my grandma. I really liked asking my grandma the questions for the project and hearing her stories.

Emma H. – “Families teach the building blocks of life.” I loved learning about my amazing grandma! I got to learn new things that I never knew about my grandma! This was an awesome project!

Raiden C. – I liked making it because I got to know my grandma’s childhood. I liked to learn what my grandma did while growing up.

AJ A. – I liked this project because you get to learn more about your family and friends. We sometimes don’t know how much we are apart so this project also showed that life was different in the past.


 

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