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The Family Tree

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Keywords: family, writing, english, art
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Art, Social Skills, Photography
Grades 6 through 8
School: PS 43, Far Rockaway, NY
Planned By: Barbara
Original Author: barbara syrett, Far Rockaway
1- Brainstorm what the word "family" means. Sometimes people who are not related are considered family members. (step-parent, adopted family, foster family, close friends, etc.)

2 - Grandparent Investigation: Read selections about grandparent and grandchild relationships from various books.
Discuss with class: What is the relationship between a grandparent and a child? In what ways were our grandparent's lives different from our own?
Brainstorm things that you remember or know about one or more of your grandparents.
Interview: Talk with family members and grandparents
about grandparents, great-great grandparents. Take notes and photographs. Bring notes and pictures to class.
Draft: Write a first draft about one of your grandparents.
Revision: Read 1st draft to group. Ask for comments. Make revisions.

3 - Brainstorm: What is a family tree?
Investigate: online and in library various ways of creating a family tree
Create: a family tree by writing the names of your ancestors in the appropriate places on the family tree outline. Get the help of family members and include pictures if possible.

4 - Make a list of your family's favorite foods, why they like them, when are they served (special occasions).
Observe and record what your family eats. Does your family eat together or separately? Where do they eat? When do they eat? Discuss with your family what special foods are used for celebrations, or other occasions. Gather some of these special recipes. Photograph your family eating, cooking together. Bring notes and pictures to class. Write an essay discussing food and its relationship to your own family.

5 - Write an essay describing your family to others. You might relate a funny family story, describe a family vacation or tradition, etc. Bring your draft to your writing group for comments and revision.

6 -Interview a family member: pick one family member to interview. You might discuss a childhood incident that was exciting; a turning point in family history; or how that person feels about family. Record the interview; photograph the interview.
Bring notes and pictures to class and begin writing essay. Present essay to writing group for comments and revisions.

7 - Create a timeline
Make a list, with your family's help, of the major events of your life (birth, places you've lived, schools you have attended, when you started walking, first words, etc.) Arrange these events in chronological order and design a timeline to display these events.

Final project will be to compile all essays and projects into a book format. Pictures, photographs, and drawings will be included as memories to be shared with family members.
Materials: Point and Shoot, Mobile Labs, Word Processor, Slideshow, Clipart, Worksheets, Mind Mapping, Timeline, English and Language Arts, Social Studies, Keyboarding, Camera Bags, xD Memory Cards, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries