Family Tree House

Family Tree House lesson plan

Explore where you came from! How does your family tree look?

  • 1.

    Find out how family trees are structured. Ask family members to help you identify the names of your great grandparents and grandparents. Go back further if you can. Then list the names of your parents, yourself, and siblings.

  • 2.

    Write all the names in a family tree structure with Crayola® Colored Pencils on white paper.

  • 3.

    Cover your work area with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Tempera Paint and Brushes to paint a sky background on a large sheet of white paper. Dry on a flat surface.

  • 4.

    Paint a large Family Tree House that represents you. Decorate it with symbols or items that tell something about you.

  • 5.

    From this large house, paint lines that lead to two houses that represent your parents. Paint more houses to represent their parents (your grandparents) and their parents (your great grandparents). Design all of the houses to reflect characteristics of, or information about, these individuals.


  • LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Describe the unique features of one's nuclear and extended families.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.


  • Possible classroom resources include: The Kids' Family Tree Book by Caroline Leavitt; Me and My Family Tree by Joan Sweeney
  • As a whole class, students compose interview questions to be used when speaking with family members about their history. Students then record family responses. In reviewing their research, students select a single "favorite" family story to share with classmates, either orally or in an electronic format.
  • As a whole class, students draw a world map and post it in the classroom. As students report on their ancestral findings, they identify the location of their familial roots on the world map.
  • While researching the family tree, students may include information such as birthdates, dates of death (or how long someone lived), countries family lived in, occupations, etc.
  • Students select a single family member to focus on for a report. This can be in the form of a written summary, an oral report, or an electronic presentation. Encourage students to create a portrait of their family member, as well as actual pictures.
  • Students research the history of The Statue of Liberty and/or Ellis Island. What connection do these two historical sites have to one's study of a family tree?