Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center
Social Studies


AUTHOR:    Nelda Helt, Stillwater High School,
           Stillwater, OK

GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT:    11        Western Civilization
(This can be adapted to any history or literature class).

OVERVIEW:  Students need to realize history is not just a listing of
dates, wars, and leaders but the story of real people whose lives
were impacted by the events of their time.

PURPOSE:  The main purpose of this activity is to create interest and
personalize history.

1.  Students should gain an appreciation for their family history
and when possible, open a new avenue for communication with an
older generation.
2.  Students should realize that social, political, and economic
conditions force families to take drastic measures such as move to
a new area or another county.
3.  Students should realize all Americans are immigrants (even the
Indians in spite of their early arrival).

A wide variety of forms can be obtained from:
The Church of Latter-day Saints
Genealogical Society
Salt Lake City, Utah

Bookcraft, Inc.
1848 West 2300 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84119

Stevenson's Genealogy Center
230 West 1230 North
Provo, Utah 84604

1.  Introduce the unit with a speaker from the local genealogical
society to explain how to begin tracing a family tree and what
resources are available locally.
2.  Require students to complete (if possible) the four generation
Pedigree Chart and a family form for each of the seven families
represented on that chart or a family portrait form for any students
with family pictures.  Other materials are available for students
who have more family information.
3.  Require one of the following: 
Write a family history beginning with the earliest known ancestor.

Select a country from your ancestory and research events which
caused people to immigrate from that country and what influenced
their selection of a new region to live.

Tape record a family member telling favorite family stories of
people in the older generations.

Tape record the stories from a time period.  For example, what
happened to members of this family during World War II

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:  This assignment may span a nine weeks or
a semester to allow students time and opportunity to make the
necessary contacts.  Therefore, time should be provided for students
to share new discoveries with the class.  Students should also be
encouraged to share research information which is pertinent to the
units taught in the class.  Putting your family or a classmates
family "on the scene" can make history more personal, thus, more


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