Lesson Plan: Timeline of Latin American Independence Movements
St. Johns Country Day School
Lesson Plan Title: Timeline of Latin American Independence Movements
Students will work in groups to develop a timeline using a free web-based tool. They will
outline the major events in the early 1800s that led to Latin American independence from Spain
This lesson plan was designed as part of a larger unit on the revolutionary effects of the
Enlightenment. Latin American Revolutions were studied in combination with the American
and French Revolutions.
Sunshine State Standard:
SS.912.W.5.7- Describe the causes and effects of 19th Latin American and Caribbean
independence movements led by people including Bolivar, de San Martin, and L' Ouverture.
Students will identify major events and leaders who helped Latin American countries achieve
independence from European colonial powers.
Students will identify earlier revolutions and ideologies that helped inspire independence
Students will identify conditions in Latin American society which prompted a desire for
Students will put Latin American independence movements within the context of European,
American and history overall.
In the 1700s, a European intellectual movement called the Enlightenment sought social reforms
and political changes based on reason, human rights, and civil liberties. The ideas and writings
stemming from this movement helped develop a new political ideology, called Liberalism.
Liberals sought a greater role in government, religious tolerance, and a constitution and bill of
rights to protect civil liberties. A series of revolutions, including the American Revolution, the
French Revolution, and the Haitian Revolution, arose in response to these desires and developed
a model that other revolutionaries would follow in years to come. Throughout Latin America,
nationalists used the weaknesses of the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies to achieve their own
10th Grade World History
World History Textbook (World History by Glencoe used as the model); computers with internet
Review and context 5-10 minutes
1. Verbally review with students the ideologies of nationalism and liberalism.
2. Review the political changes that American and French revolutionaries were seeking in
3. Review the social structure of Latin America as described in the textbook. Draw a social
hierarchy pyramid on the board to reinforce. Discuss why this could lead to a revolution.
X-timeline Creation 20-45 minutes (depending on how you break up the groups and how
computer savvy your students are)
1. Break students up into groups based on how many computers you have at least one
computer per group.
2. Students will go to www.xtimeline.com. Students can create their own accounts ahead of
time, or the teacher can create one and the whole class can use it.
3. Using their textbook, student groups with create an on-line timeline of important events
that occurred from the Haitian Revolution to the independence of Central and South
America. Students will give the event a title that will appear on the timeline. They will
then describe the events and important leaders in the description section. If time permits,
students can add pictures to illustrate the events.
4. Since this is an online website, all students can work on the same timeline
simultaneously. Each group can create their own timeline with all events OR each group
can just add a specified group of events to the class timeline which will take much less
time. (example: Group 1 Haiti, Group 2 Bolivar, Group 3 de San Martin, Group 4
Review of Timelines 10 minutes
1. Pull up the class timeline (or one group's timeline) so that all students can see it. Review
the major people and events that are on it.
2. Ask students what similarities do they see in these movements? What differences do they
For homework, students will write a paragraph describing the causes and effects of the Latin
American Independence movements. Paragraphs should include specific events and leaders
from the timeline and should demonstrate that students can put the Latin American independence
movements into the greater historical context described above.