Genealogy Unit Lesson
The purpose of this unit is designed to incorportate
a host of innovative strataegies that are not often possible in a tradition
leaning environment (i.e. creatiave writings in various forms, intergenerational
learning, national and international collaborative research). This is an
interdisciplinary unit incorporting skills and types of writing learned
in Language Arts; Social Studies through the geography and history found
in research of different countries and geographical regions; Reading; Computer
Science; and the use of the Internet as a research source.
Many of the goals of this unit are requirements of
the 7th grade curriculum. Students will be conducting research and learning
how to cite the information found on the Internet. Students will also be
exposed to various forms of literature including essays, short stories,
and possibly, a novel. Part of the writing for the unitl will include short
biographies, a short autobiography, a brief history of the country of origin,
a narrative, letters, and queries.
Each student is given a packet about the unit which
will contain copies of the forms to be used, the notebook requirements,
and the project options. The packet contains the following:
I.GENEALOGY NOTEBOOK REQUIREMENTS:
- Separate notebook with a tab for each of the two surnames
which you will be researching. You are required to go back three generations
in your research...your father/mother, your grandfather/mother, and your
- Title page showing your name, manuscript title, date
- Country Research
- Ancestor Charts - as complete as possible ( at least
three generations) for two surnames
- Map showing ancestral movement
- Family Group Sheets
- a. completed as much as possible - in chronological
order, oldest first
- b. one for each person whose name is known
- Interviews (4) - placed in the proper place within
the correct family of group sheets
- Genealogy Project Options
- Citation Page
All of the above material should be typed or written in
black ink, except for the Family Group Sheets - these are used as worksheets
and information contained may change as your research continues. You should
remeber at all times that what you are doing can become an heirloom and
thus, a part of your family history.
This unit came about from students asking to read
some of the classic works. They helped plan the unit and contributed their
ideas of what would be required. They also wanted to have their work placed
on the Web. The resulting unit and its requirements is not one I would
use with every 7th or 8th grade group of Talented and Gifted students,
but the material these students were reading on their own indicated that
it was worth trying.
OBJECTIVES: Student should be able to:
1. Analyze a classic novel
2. Explain the meaning and characteristics of a chosen
3. Recognize the characteristics of the formal essay.
4. Write expository papers that (a) interpret a piece
of writing, (b) analyze the theme(s) in a novel, (c) compare/contrast two
essays, two poems, one play with the author of a major novel.
Because I felt that most of them read fiction at the
rate of approximately twenty to fifty pages per night, I felt that they
could read at least one novel and several other pieces of writing, whether
that was a play, an essay, or several poems.
I supplied them with titles of novels, epic poems,
or plays from which to choose. There was a great mix of titles, authors,
subjects, and reading levels I thought they would enjoy. Many of the titles
and/or authors were supplied by the students themselves. Each of these
titles was written during an Age or Period of a literay era which had its
I asked the students to research that Age or Period
of literary history to determine what those characteristics were so they
would better understand how their chosen author wrote, why he/she wrote
the way he/she did, and what was happening during this period that effected
the topics or subjects chosen by that author.
Students also had to research the biography of the
chosen author. This research had to be more than just the basic dates and
places that concerned the author. They also had to look for information
that states or indicates that something which happened in the life of the
author later showed up in the major work the had chosen to read. This could
have been something specific which happened, or it could be as simple as
the geographic area in which the author lived. These "happenings"
can effect the mood, or the themes of the pieces written, or they may effect
the settings or the subjects chosen for the pieces.
In this unit, I really asked the students to stretch
themselves. They were required to write five major pieces of writing. In
each of these pieces, they would be using the higher level thinking skills
of analysis, evaluation, and judgement of which I know all of them were
capable. The required compostions were to include:
1. A paper on the history of the Age or Period in
which the author wrote
2. A biographical paper on the author and his writing
3. A paper discussing the literary characteristics
of the Age or Period in which the author wrote and how the author fulfilled
4. A comparison/contrast paper of the style of writing
of the main author and another author of the same period, or an author
from a different period.
5. A paper on the main novel chosen.
I was asking these students to go beyond the usual;
I was asking them to push themselves just to see how far they could go.
At the same time, I wanted them to enjoy the process...prove to them selves
that they could do something out of the ordinary;something that was not
mundane! THEY WENT WAY BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS!!!
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