Older adult woman exchanges laugh with middle school child in classroom.

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Intergenerational Learning Activities: Family History

You can make classroom history lessons come alive for your grandchildren or youth mentees by exploring family history together.  In addition to building stronger bonds as you learn more about each other, family history can also promote:

  • strong writing
  • research skills
  • math  
  • critical thinking

With the support of the Verizon Foundation and resources from Thinkfinity.org, this family history guide provides brief activity descriptions geared toward a broad range of ages. We encourage you to submit additional suggestions and to connect with other older adults in an online user group designed for grandparents and volunteers with similar interests.

 Pre-k  to Grade Three:  Use Visual Elements to Help Young Children Capture Stories

  • Create a family flag using pictures with personal meaning and learn more about why the American looks like it does
  • Use photographs with descriptions to create a homemade memory book together
  • Build timelines of the important events in your family members lives
  • Become collectors and create a family history museum

Grades Four to Eight: Build Research Skills and Critical Thinking

  • Conduct a genealogical study to explore your own history
  • Design a genealogical atlas of your family’s migrations
  • Find a list of interesting questions to use for a family history interview
  • Discover what your family surname means and learn how surnames originated
  • Use a venn diagram to compare and contrasts aspects of your lives

 Grades Nine to Twelve: Refine Your Stories with Literary Elements

  • Record family stories to better understand memoirs
  • Create your own family anthology to find out what books or stories have meant the most to your family members
  • Reconstruct your family’s migration or immigration story
  • Learn how to write a personal narrative by interviewing family members

 Additional Resources:

Intergenerational Activities Sourcebook (pages 42-46)

History Comes Home

Saving Our Stories

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