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Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Second Grader's Ancestry Project - Part 1

Last month my second grader came home talking about her ancestry report.  I knew of the project that her school does in second grade.  Many second graders all over the United States do something with their family tree as part of a social studies lesson.

Well, at my daughter's school, the project is pretty elaborate.  At first, I did express excitement about the assignment.  Then, I had to remind myself that this is her homework, her presentation, and must reflect that in the end product or it just does not work.  She must be vested in the project.  After all, she has to get up in front of her class and talk about her ancestors when I am not there.

One of the biggest challenges that I've found with this project is the plethora of information that I have.  I have family trees for my various lines, even for my husband, along with photos, source documents, letters, anecdotal information, and some other random type items.  It is almost too much information.  Again, it is not my project or assignment, yet I am the source for the information.

The parts of this project include drawing a real family tree, investigating the students given name, putting an "X" that marks the spot on map from which your ancestors originate, interviewing a living ancestor, and interviewing your own family about where they live and how they ended up in their current location.  Additionally, the student must put together a poster for their presentation.  They are welcome to bring a family artifact into to school.

The project culminates with an ancestor dinner on a given evening in March.  Each family attends the dinner with their child. Grandparents and relatives are welcome.  The families are to bring with them food from their country of origin.  Group photos will be taken of each family.  It's a bit of a potluck with set tables in the multi-purpose room of the school.  Yours truly will take the majority of the photos assisted by my husband.

It should be fun but first comes getting the almost eight year old to draw, write, create, memorize, and feel comfortable with her family history.  So far, she has a tree drawn................


  1. That is a fun project! I think I would find myself overrunning it...Must control myself when the time comes!

  2. It was fun and a lot of work for my second grader. I have another post coming. I might post more after the dinner in March along with the family artifact that she chose to speak about.