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Exploring Heritage

Exploring Heritage

Students will interview a family member to learn about their family heritage.  Once they know their heritage they will research it to answer some research questions.  They will then take their research and interview and convey their information through a multi-media presentation.


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Scott Pangrazzi
Scott Pangrazzi (Teacher (K-12))
8 years ago

Examining family heritages is an important assignment that often gets students very involved in the process because they can own it and feel specifically connected to the material.  Also, it often gets parents and other family members involved in the process and makes them feel connected to the class.

GoogleDocs and Presentations are a great resource for this project, because it can allow you to check in on their progress.  I would suggest having them take their interview notes and information from this research on GoogleDocs so that you can comment on their progress and see if they are on the right track.

One goal that is cited in your lesson plan is having the students do online research.  In six grade that process has probably not happened in a true academic sense.  This could be an opportunity to display proper uses of online research and expand upon the purpose of the assignment.  Also, this could be an excellent opportunity to introduce them to the library resources, both physical and digital and show their value.

Technical Remarks:

In addition to Thomas' remarks about youtube videos, I would suggest creating your own channel.  This will allow you to create a resource that can be valuable to your class in the future and allow for unintended videos not to be displayed as options.

Time spent reviewing site: 20 minutes
Thomas E. Bieri
Thomas E. Bieri (Faculty)
8 years ago

I think the performance objectives for this lesson are great.  I love how you link the general to something specific to each student’s own family history and by creating digital artifacts you will add to potential source material for future historians.  I also think it is great you include information on Angel Island as it seems to be oft forgotten in the shadow of Ellis Island.

Will you develop a set of questions for the students, will they develop questions on their own, or will you have them develop that collaboratively, perhaps with guidance from you?

One thing I worry about is how you accommodate students of Native-American or of mixed heritage, whether it is a fairly straightforward mix (say one side Italian-American and one side Laotian-American) or one that has been quite mixed up over the generations (for example, there is French-Canadian, English, Irish, Swiss, German and Native-American in my heritage that I know about).


Technical Remarks:

There are links to YouTube videos which bring up several others on similar topics but also some unrelated videos.  It might be good to have the specific videos you want students to watch embedded somewhere.

Time spent reviewing site: 20 minutes