Topics(s)/ Concept(s): US History, World Geography, World History, English, research, interview, family history, writing, essay, family tree, submitted by Morgan Kinnally
Students learn about their family history including geography and historical backdrop.
Time to Complete: 2 weeks
Materials: internet access
Interview a variety of family members to collect interesting stories and history. Then research where your family is from (nation(s) as well as areas in the United States. Then Compile photographs, articles, historical information, anecdotes, quotes, sayings, and other research into a presentation of your choosing.
Read articles and books about immigration to America.
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/young_immigrants/ Stories of immigrant children
Select a variety of family members to interview. (Recording them on video or audio, or try writing down their responses.) Consider the following questions and create any of your own.
Where did our family come from? (Nation of origin)
How did our family first arrive in the United States?
What was the journey like?
Did your family face discrimination or prejudice?
Were in the United States has our family lived?
What was it like growing up?
What historical events did you live through and remember?
What are some of your favorite experiences from childhood? Teen-age years? Adulthood?
What were some challenges you or others faced while growing up?
Can you show me some important or favorite family pictures? What is the story behind the picture?
Who in our family has had the greatest impact on your life and how?
What do you think is our family’s American Dream?
What story about our family do you think is the most important that I remember and tell my own children one day?
How does learning about my family history affect me and make me feel? How do I see the world differently because of family?
Geography: Research the nation(s) of origin of your family. Collect maps and other geographical information about the area. Then research the areas your family has lived in the United States. Include geographical information about the areas in the U.S.
History: Then research historical events that your family has encountered or lived through in their nation of origin or here in the United States.
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cshome.html Country Studies from the library of Congress. Grades 9-12
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html CIA World Fact Book
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/es/index.php Library of Congress: America’s Story
http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/index.html Primary sources/quotes for many historical periods.
http://besthistorysites.net/ Links to variety of history topics, web quests, and other information
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Using information from readings, interviews, geographical/historical research, students create a presentation of their work. Students can create scrapbooks, videos, slideshows, artwork, collages, or other mediums of presentation. Students can also create fictional short stories based on real events and places based on stories from their family. Create whatever inspires you after interviewing and researching your family’s history.
*Depth of project can vary. Make expectations and commitment level clear from the beginning of the project. However, allow for student discovery and interest to motivate student through other ideas, research, or work.
Include references, interview, geographical/historical research, and a method of presentation.