Passport to Family Heritage

What better way to start off a year learning about different countries and cultures than by learning about one's own native country and culture? 

 To kick off the 2013-2014 school year, my school's gifted program (grades 1st-5th) asked students to discover their family's journey to America, research facts about their native country, and share their family's traditions using my Passport to Family Heritage Project. Check it out {HERE} at my TPT store!

Students were given three weeks to complete the project. After the projects were turned in, students were required to share their learning with their classmates in the form of an oral presentation. Presentations were scheduled in small groups of 3-4 students a day. Scheduling our presentations was convenient not only for time management, but also because it allowed my team teacher and I to inform students whose project activity included sharing food or sharing a family artifact with an exact date to bring the food or artifact. Due to each of our class sizes, 17 students in each class, we were able to complete all presentations in one week. Students were given 5-7 minutes each to present. Prior to the presentations, a notice was sent home informing parents that students should be knowledgeable enough about their projects to be able to present without reading directly off the project papers (note cards were permitted). Throughout the presentation, students were required to briefly touch base on each aspect of the project. After each presentation, classmates were provided with an opportunity to ask questions and offer comments.

The students and teachers had a great time with this project! It was a priceless learning experience for everyone. Through this project, not only did students get to delve deeper into their family's history, but they had the opportunity to share a piece of their life with their classmates. As a teacher, it felt amazing to witness students beaming with pride as they presented their families' stories, customs, and traditional foods.

Here are some pictures of students presenting their projects:

Family Portrait Presentation

All About  My Family's Native Country Presentation

All About My Family's Native Country Presentation
                                                                                        (*Note: The writing template shown above has been revised to include borders and headers. Refer to preview above.)

Student using the world map to show classmates his native country.

Student using  note cards to assist with her presentation.
(Cuban Medianoche Sandwiches and Guava with Cheese
featured on the desks.)

Student introducing her native Spanish Tortilla.
                                                                                                                              Check out these family tree project activity examples:                                                                                 
I love how this student added real leaves to her family tree.


This elaborate family tree was made by twin brothers.

 Next, check out these students who chose to share an inspiring 
family member for their project activity:

This student was inspired by her Abuelito (grandfather)
for his determination to provide a better life for his family.
Here is a copy of the 1980's Article which details her
grandfather's journey to America. His journey made
headlines since he hijacked a ship
to arrive to the U.S.A.

This student was inspired by her aunt's courage and
determination to become a doctor in a country that
did not speak her native language.

Who can forget about delicious cultural treats?
Take a peek at these multicultural delights students shared with the class!

Peruvian Turron de Doña Pepa

Cuban Merenguitos
(I love how she pictured each moment of her process
in making the sweet treats.)

Argentinian Empanadas, Dulce de Leche
and Yerba Mate Tea 
Cuban Buñuelos

Student sampling a variety of the cultural treats at lunch.
Traditional Filipino Chicken Soup
 Finally, marvel at this amazing family artifact a student shared with the class.What a priceless treasure.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our Passport to Family Heritage Project. It truly was a pleasure learning about each of my student's cultures and families. I hope this post has inspired you to have students dig deeper into their family's history. After all, "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey

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