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Family Tree House

Students explore where they came from! How does their family tree look?

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Find out how family trees are structured. Students ask family members to help identify the names of their great grandparents and grandparents. Go back further if possible. Students list the names of their parents, themselves, and siblings.
    2. Write all the names in a family tree structure with Crayola® Colored Pencils on white paper.
    3. Cover the work area with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Tempera Paint and paintbrushes to paint a sky background on a large sheet of white paper. Dry on a flat surface.
    4. Students paint a large Family Tree House that represents themselves. Decorate it with symbols or items that tell something themselves.
    5. From this large house, students paint lines that lead to two houses that represent their 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.
  • Standards

    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.

  • Adaptations

    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?


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