Creating A Family Tree

How It Works: 

Creating a Family Tree allows children to explore their ancestral background as well as teaches them the basics of genealogy. While the lessons can be completed within a two-week time frame, the project itself may be ongoing throughout the year.

Each student will interview older family members and record anecdotes pertaining to that particular relative. This includes vital statistics, which will then be placed on a pedigree chart. Each person on the chart will have an individual page detailing the information gathered.

The unit incorporates social studies, math, reading and language arts as well as technology skills.


To read, identify and understand key vocabulary words and concepts
To read independently
To set a purpose for reading
To write in a variety of modes; expository, interviews, functional
To recognize patterns in math
To use technology to enhance learning, increase productivity and promote creativity
Use technology to process data and report results

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 8

Software Materials Used:  

Microsoft FrontPage, scanner, Internet, desktop publishing program


genealogy, history, family tree, pedigree, relatives


This unit is designed for fourth and fifth grade students but can also be adapted for sixth grade as well. It can be completed by all academic levels, which includes ESOL (English as a Second Language) and ESE (Exceptional Student Education) students.


Students truly enjoy the prospect of learning about their family history by interviewing family members, creating documents using desktop publishing, developing an online family tree, and searching the Internet for data. They can maintain the personal and family history records for future use as well as having the ability to look back on past family events and growth.


If a student is from a single parent home or has a step-parent, it is permissible to complete one side of the family pedigree chart only.

About the Teacher: 

Ann Stephenson is a fifth grade teacher whose class is part of the Citibank FamilyTech program, a project that provides home and classroom computers and computer training to parents, teachers and students. As a result, her students are learning technology along with academics. She has been a presenter at the Florida Reading Association convention and is the recipient of several AT&T TeachNet Grants and Citibank Success Funds Adapter Grants.

Subjects:  Social Studies

Grade Levels:  4

Email Ann


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