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Long Ago & Maybe Far Away

Interview relatives about your family history. Write and illustrate the story of your family's past on a scroll you can save for future generations!

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Organize students in a central area of the classroom such as the reading rug. Ask them what they know about the history of their families. Where did your ancestors live before family members came to your present place? How could you find out more about your family history?
    2. Conduct interviews. Students use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to compose a list of questions about families. Jot down names of family members that could be interviewed in person, call, or e-mail. Find out whether anyone in the family has diaries, letters, photographs, or memoirs. With family member's help, students trace their history back through at least grandparents. Students take notes on index cards.
    3. When reserach is complete, students organize their information. Use Crayola Twistables to color-code the cards’ borders. Assign each color a meaning. For example, red could stand for information about a maternal grandmother or what happened from 1900 to 1950.
    4. What is the best way to arrange family history? Students could present each branch of the family separately. Or they could show where each line of the family history was at the same point in time. For example, a maternal grandmother's family may have lived where you do now at the same time paternal grandfather's family was in another country.
    5. Students create a family history scroll. Use Crayola Multicultural Crayons, Erasable Colored Pencils and Twistables to illustrate and write about ancestors' lives and locations, from long ago and maybe far away, all the way to the present. Draw and write each part on long paper.
    6. With a classmate, students roll up the paper starting at the short ends. Students ask a friend to hold the rolls while you tie a bright ribbon around the scroll.
    7. Present original scrolls to family members on a special occasion such as a reunion.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of grade level text's complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Compare and contrast different stories or accounts about past events, people, places, or situations, identifying how they contribute to our understanding of the past.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resource includes: Me and My Family Tree by Joan Sweeney;

    Students work as a class to compose interview questions for parents, grandparents, etc. During the interviews, students record family responses.

    Students investigate countries their ancestors came from. Students draw a map of the country, identifying significant landmarks, the country's capital, as well as the town or village where the ancestors lived. Read about the history of the country and its significant historical events. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    Organize a family day to share student research with family members. Have students present their family findings in small groups, allowing time for observers to ask questions.

    Students collect family recipes that have been passed down from their ancestors. Have students word process their recipes and create an original sketch for the recipe. Organize recipes into a book format for sharing.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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