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Free Printable Book of Centuries Template
A Book of Centuries is like a timeline in a book. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like. If you want a simple one, download this free printable Book of Centuries document that labels each two-page spread with a date (in hundred-year increments) from 4000 B.C. to A.D. 2100. For a more deluxe version, see My Book of Centuries in our bookstore.
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Download Our Free Printable Book of Centuries Template
A Book of Centuries is like a timeline in a notebook. As its name suggests, each two-page spread in the book is devoted to one hundred years—a century—of history. Each student creates his or her own book, recording historical events and names of importance, along with pictures, poems, quotes, and anything else that makes the book individual. You can also add written narrations, illustrations from the Internet, or titles of books you’ve read that are set in that time period.
If your children are not yet old enough to take on the responsibility of their own Books of Centuries, you can create one together as a family.
A Book of Centuries can be as simple or elaborate as you like. If you want a simple one, download this Basic Book of Centuries document that labels each two-page spread with a date (in hundred-year increments) from 4000 B.C. to A.D. 2100. For a more deluxe version, see My Book of Centuries in our bookstore.
Putting Your Book of Centuries Together
- Once you download and print the Book of Centuries file, sort the pages into two identical piles, with the same dates opposite each other.
- Three-hole punch one pile of copies on the right side of the paper and the other pile, on the left side. Now you should have each of the two pages with identical dates laying beside each other, holes facing each other on the inside edges of the pages.
- Put the pages in chronological order into a three-ring notebook. The first two pages in the notebook should be 4000–3901 B.C. and the last two pages should be A.D. 2001–2100. (Remember that the B.C. dates count backward and the A.D. dates count forward. So your book should start with 4000 B.C., 3900 B.C., 3800 B.C., etc. Once you get to 100–1 B.C., start counting forward again with A.D. 1–100, A.D. 101–200, A.D. 201–300, up to A.D. 2001–2100.)
That’s it! Make a cover for your Book of Centuries if you want to, then just start making entries as you study different time periods, people, and events. If you would like more ideas, check out our article on How to Use a Book of Centuries.
Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 1, Grade 12, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9
Jennifer Torres –
this is cool!
Jennifer Milstead –
Thanks for all the great ideas.
At what age do children most benefit from keeping a Book of Centuries? Do I start it with my first grader or wait until he is in fifth or seventh grade?
By the way, I love this website! Thank you so much for all the valuable information.
I like to wait until my child is older to have him do his own Book of Centuries. That way his handwriting has become established, and he can create a Book of Centuries that he will be proud of and use the rest of his life.
You can easily, however, do a family Book of Centuries while the child is younger. Then the next time you are starting your history rotation, he could begin making his own.
Thank you for this comment. I am excited to start our family Book of Centuries today, as we’ve been learning a lot about the 18th Century lately and I want my 3 and 5 yr olds to start to see the connections. This helped me see when I can have them start their own. I appreciate any help I can get as a newbie!
How do you print this? I do not have a duplex printer, any helpful suggestions?
@Tiffany, If your software supports it, you might be able to print only odd pages, flip the paper over, put it back in the printer, and then print the even pages. Of course, you can simply print it normally but you might waste sides of the paper that way. The extra pages could be useful for including additional things in your book, though.
If you print only one side and store the papers in page protectors, you can tape them together (or just lay them out) in a row to do an overview. =)
If we are using Module 1 Genesis-Deut, what section of the Book of Centuries should I print? I am guessing NOT all of it, since it is WAY before A.D……..Thank you- Jamie
Doug Smith –
Module 1 covers from Creation to approximately 1451 B.C.
Thank you for giving us this great free resource! What a time saver! Also, thank you for clearly explaining how to print odd, then even pages on back!
Whoops! When I printed mine back to front, something went wrong. I think it’s because it picked up the intro page as Page1, so it kicked everything off by one page. Now I have a Century per page, back to front. I think it will still work for us though.
Doug Smith –
If you are printing it double sided then you would want to go ahead an print the intro page as that will sort of be like the cover. Then the back of that and the front of the following page should give you your century page spread, and so on.
doesn’t this quite limit how much you put on a page? or is the idea to have it like bullet points of history… whenever i have done something we have scrapbooked which has taken qutie a lot of pages! sorry – but please explain the point 🙁
Sonya Shafer –
Yes, it does limit the information to just what the child has formed a relation with at the time. The Book of Centuries is meant to give students a glance through the history that they have read, summarizing the key people and events and helping them mentally keep them in chronological order. It is not meant to be an exhaustive review of all that they learned; narrations are designed for that purpose. Your example of “bullet points of history” is a good comparison.
Thank you – all makes sense 🙂
Silly question but could you do this in a blank page book using the same concept with two spread page? Please give me your opinion.this would also be our family book of centuries as its our first go at this.
Sonya Shafer –
Certainly. Just label each two-page spread and you’re ready to roll.
I was looking for something for my wall….so even the littles could understand and see what/who came before or after, etc. We have a book-type timeline, but I don’t think they are understanding things since they can’t really see them. Any suggestions on a wall timeline?
Sonya Shafer –
Here is a link to a recent discussion on our forum about wall timelines. Hope it helps!
Carol Vang –
THANK YOU so much the book of centuries! I think this is a timeline idea that my teenage boys will enjoy. I enjoyed your workshops at the Midsouth Homeschool convention. Could habit training work on my husband too? Ha ha!
Julio Cesar de Campos Rodrigues –
Thank you very much for sharing this file with us!
Sincerely your friend in Brazil,
Teacher Julio Cesar!
Tosha McDugle –
I just used a college ruled 70 sheet spiral notebook to write all the dates into. I like that it has lines as our Family Book will simply be a list of Bible and World Figures and Events as we read about them. I started on the first full spread and had about 6-7 pages left over at the end. This will be used for our FAMILY Book of Centuries since we are starting at age 5 and 6. Basically 1st through 6th grade will be creation through today. Then in 7th grade they can start over with creation, each creating their own more elaborate Book of Centuries through 12th grade. I will give them the privilege of writing in this one as they age and their handwriting improves. This will take up less space than a 3 ring notebook as well.
I have not been able to down the BFC. I look forward to getting it.
But I do have a question:
We are reading the bio of Beethoven.
Do I enter his name and dates or birth and death on the page of the century he was born?
We ran into Napoleon in the Beethoven book.
Do I enter Napoleon as well? How?
Tamara Bell –
Hi Kate! When and where you enter a person is an individual choice based on your preferences. I like to end a persons birth date and their death date and note them in the century they were most involved/alive in. I have one child that prefer to only write a person in the century they were most involved/influential in.