Most child know their parent's names. They may know their grandparent's first names. Do they know anyone beyond that? A family tree can be a fun way for you to teach your children about your childhood and about your parent's childhood.
However, you may want to make some considerations before you begin to do a family tree project:
1. If your children are adopted or being fostered by you, research further the most inclusive ways to make them feel part of the process.
2. Historically, divorce has been handled poorly by family tree software and templates. Children should not be shamed for having divorced, remarried, or never married parents or grandparents.
3. Other historical/cultural factors may need care as well, such as refugee status, slavery, or immigration.
Doing a family genealogy can teach new vocabulary such as generation, maiden name, pedigree, surname, and the word geneology. skills children can learn include Internet research skills, how to collect and organize documents, how history influenced her ancestors, and more likely than not, some surprising facts about her ancestry.
You don't have to use an online template or a paper template with a traditional family tree. you can be creative, and make a book or poster. Some supplies you may want to use include construction paper, colored markers, glue, family photos, and other scrapbooking materials. To begin, talk about your family and what makes a family. Discuss the fact that there are many different kinds of families, with many different configurations of adults, children, step-parents and step-siblings. Expand this conversation by making a chart of all family members that your child has ever met in person, or spoken to on the telephone. Illustrate the book with photos or drawings of the people that children want to learn more about.
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.
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