Creating these timelines takes a bit of time up front, but its an investment you can use all year long. Timelines are a wonderful place to hang bits of knowledge, and see the relationships between different subject areas.
Materials needed: paper, ruler, pencil, and books or Wikipedia. Printable Template here
We used butcher paper and a good chunk of wall space. We made 5 timelines, on different scales. The thing to do is choose a convenient, easy to measure timescale that approximately fits the thing you want to display.
For a 120 cm stretch of butcher paper, here are some scales you might want to use:
Down to Grade/Age:
Up thru Grade/Age: