Family History Project

Ms. O's Language Arts Class

Family History Directions

We are going to throw a fair in April exploring the many different ways culture affects our lives.  We’ll call it the Family History Project. For this long-term project you will create a tri-fold board that presents information about your family history and/or ethnic or cultural heritage.  You will have some class time for research and forming ideas, but most of the work will be done at home.  Your board will be on display during the Family History Fair on April 23, 2014.  Your project is due that week, on Monday, April 20, 2014.

Topic Choice Options

  1. Family History – present information about an important aspect of your family’s history. You may focus your board to be a celebration of a family member.
  2. Country of Origin – present information about your family’s connection to another country.  Be sure to highlight how the country connects strongly to your life.
  3. Cultural/Ethnic Group – present information about an important aspect of your cultural or ethnic group.  Again, be sure to show how you are connected to the group and what role it has had in your life.
  4. A Family Business – present information about a family business either from the past or present.
  5. A Family Hobby – present information about an important hobby practiced by your family for at least three generations.
  6. Any aspect of your family’s “Cultural Bag.”

Project Components

The Display Board:

The requirements for the board are described in detail on the Project Scoring Sheet which you will get later.

Work Log (I Search Paper):

Keep track of the work you do for the Family History Project.

Rough Drafts/Planning Sheets:

You will complete planning sheets and rough drafts of your design and cultural exploration before you do the final board.  These will be explained to you throughout the coming months.

Oral Explanation:

During the week before the Family History Fair, you will give a presentation about your board in your class.  Your presentation will include the following information:

  1. Define your project.
  2. Why you chose the topic.
  3. How you researched the topic and/or gathered materials for it.
  4. What items you have included on your board
  5. What you learned about your family, heritage, and yourself.

Length:  Your presentation will be approximately 3 minutes long.

Additional Items and Props:

You will display additional items during the Family History Night such as food you prepared, important items, or clothing that relates to your topic.  Each item should include a caption.  You must turn in a paragraph identifying your items and explaining how they enhance your project.  Your paragraph must be initialed by a parent or guardian.  Please do not display any item that would be devastating to you or your family if lost or stolen.  You will be assessed on level of effort and quality.

Family History Night Questions:

During the Family History Night, you will be expected to stay with your display for a good chunk of the night to answer questions from passers-by such as parents, teachers, or other visitors to the fair – but not other students.  You will have a form to have each person initial for whom you answered a question.

Reflective Paper/I-Search Paper:

You will write an I-Search paper reflecting on the final product and the process you went through to create it.  You will get more information as we go.  The paper will address the following question:  “What are the most important lessons/experiences you will remember from the Family History Project?”

  • Part I:  Why I Chose This Topic
  • Part II:  What I Knew Before I Started
  • Part III:  The Story of My Search (This should be the bulk of the paper)
  • Part IV:  What I Learned
  • Part V: Family History Night Review

Important Dates

Write these dates in your planner and on a calendar at home!

  • By Friday, January 9, 2014: Topic selection (narrowed to one topic or several to choose from)
  • Week of Tuesday, March 9: First draft of board (organization of content)
  • Week of Tuesday, April 6nd: Work time each day at lunch
  • Tuesday, April 21: I-Search Paper
  • Monday, April 20: Family History Project due! Bring it to school.
  • Thursday, April 24,  5:30-6:30: Family History Night.

Family History Project Photos from 2010

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. ~ John Dewey