Learning Adventures—Exploring Family Ancestry - MetroFamily Magazine
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Learning Adventures—Exploring Family Ancestry

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

Human beings have been tracking their family ancestry for millennia, tracing ancestry through cave markings, ancient scrolls, oral traditions and more. More recently, technological advances such as online databases and DNA analysis have made this work easier—and exploring family ancestry is a great summer project for kids of all ages.

Building a family tree can be both enjoyable and informative. Use this opportunity to gain insight about the people you love, learn about history and better understand your inherited traits. You might also hear fascinating stories of immigration or even discover something mysterious.

Are you ready to explore your family ancestry? Start by interviewing Dad, Mom, grandparents, aunts and uncles to learn about your relatives. Record the names and relationships you discover. Figure out a way to illustrate your list using something other than a tree, perhaps an image of something dad loves, like his fishing pole or an ice cream sundae (Dad could be the cherry on top!). Or you could use technology to capture your findings, perhaps by creating a word cloud in Wordle (www.wordle.net) of all the places that your relatives have lived. Then, display it in your home as a reflection of the connectedness and creativity in your family.

Did You Know?

There is debate about who possesses the longest family history on earth. Is it the Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius (551 BC–479 BC) whose family tree is said to span more than 80 generations and include more than two million members? Or, is it the German educator who claims that DNA testing has allowed him and his cousin to trace their family back 120 generations?

How many generations can you trace back with your family? Did you find any surprising information in your family tree?

This Learning Adventures project is sponsored by Primrose Schools and Green Bambino. Activity idea provided by Oklahoma A+ Schools, the state’s only research-based whole school network with a mission of nurturing creativity in every learner. Learn more at www.okaplus.org.

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