Here is a story we want you to imagine. At a recent family reunion, everyone sat around looking and talking about pictures in old photo albums. An uncle told everyone about how your class is using computers and the Internet to find pictures and information about what was happening in history at the time that many of the pictures were taken. Your relatives have asked that you use these new tools to serve as the "historian" for the family. They would like you to gather information about the history of your people before the next reunion.
When you brought this information to school, your teacher decided to use this for a class project so that each child could make his/her own family reunion presentation. As a class, you need to select the most important things to describe about families. Think about where people live, where their relatives lived, and what parts of people's lives are based on traditions from their ancestors and which are more a result of where they live today.
View Teacher Notes
Each person in the class should be prepared to give a report at the next family reunion about the history of his/her family and individual people in the family. To learn how to do this we will make up a class family and write about it as a group. We will write the words together on the computer and large screen TV after we find information on the Internet, talk to guests, read books, draw pictures, and create projects. What does a family need to live? What is part of their environment? Where can we find information about this? We need to include pictures and graphics to make our report more interesting for our relatives.
After we complete our class report, each student, or pair of students will create their own family report and present this report to the class before taking it to their family reunion.
Together, our class will....
It will be important to consider all aspects of your classroom family's culture. You will need to include homes, location, customs, stories, food, and daily life. Imagine yourself living in this family and write, draw, and talk about what you would be saying if you were there at this instant.
It is important to give ...
This will be self evaluated, based on your individual effort. A sample rubric is included in the teacher section.
How could you add the information that you have just learned to your daily life to make you and others around you more aware of the diversity in our world?
What is our part in the world community?
With your class, talk about how your life today is similar to or different from the person you wrote about.
What or who helped you with this information the most?
If you did this again, what type of information would you like to find on the Internet?
Your purpose is to model a whole class project, the research process and to give your class background in at least one culture. Students will then create their own project.
The class project will take four hours, the student projects the same amount, depending on class time available.
Lots of books and off-line resources should be used before beginning this lesson. Classroom visits by grandparents, tribal elders or other appropriate guests would enrich the learning experience. Videos and photographs as well as individual stories and fables will contribute to the project. Students will need writing and art materials, along with a computer for Kid PixÅ Studio or another similar graphic program for children.
Your project might also include pictures and crafts or dances and songs which could be used to teach specific visual and performing arts by and about a historical period.
Adaptation for Special Needs:
Partnering students, videos, picture books, and cross age tutors will enhance this project for children with special needs. Also, using Kid Pix, children can speak their report rather than writing it.
Three (3) will mean you have done ALL the work to the best of your ability.
Two (2) will mean you have done MOST of the work to the best of your ability.
One (1) will mean you have done NONE of the work to the best of your ability.
Did you do the very best that you could, finding at least one idea that was unique? Score: ____________
Did you work hard, enjoy the project, and feel good about what you completed? Score: ____________
Did you contribute your part of the project? Score: ____________
Did you finish your work on time? Score: ____________
Does your artwork fit into the project? Score: ____________
Overall score ____________
Written by: Raleigh Conner
School: Pacific Union School, Arcata, CA 95521