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McREL Standards Activity

Family History

Purpose:As a result of this activity, students will be able to conduct simple research and to organize information in a chronological manner.
Related Standard & Benchmarks:
Grades K-4 History
 Standard 1.Understands family life now and in the past, and family life in various places long ago
   Level I [Grade K-2]
   Benchmark 1. Knows a family history through two generations (e.g., various family members and their connections)
Student Product:An oral presentation and a record of the family history through 2 generations
Material & Resources:No special resources required for this activity.
Teacher's Note:Due to the diverse nature of family structures and the fact that some children cannot easily fill in a simple family tree, it is recommended that teachers send parents a note in advance to make sure that the assignment will not present any problems or difficulties.
After discussing the different structures of families in class, students will gather information about their own families using a variety of sources (e.g., photographs, interviews with parents, grandparents, or aunts and uncles, family albums). Using this information students will create a record of their family through two generations. With guidance, students can choose the type of structure they think will best show their family members and how they are connected (e.g., a time line, a photo essay, a short history about a particular family member). Depending on the type of structure students choose, they should include names, dates of birth, places of birth, dates of death, and other details about family life (e.g. education, occupations, interests, places of residence). Students with family structures that do not fit the traditional model should be encouraged to create a family record reflective of their own family structures (e.g., adoptive parents, stepparents and stepsiblings, foster parents, other relatives). Students will then make an oral presentation in which they describe their family structure and how they created the history of their family.