submitted by Francie Kugelman
1. The students can research a family recipe that is handed down from generation to generation. They must cook it, and write step by step what they did in order to make it. They must also include the history from the recipe.
2. The students can create a fictional story about their families. They must illustrate pictures to go with this story, in the end it will be a book.
3. The student can research the meaning of his/her name. Look up the meaning in a baby book, plus ask parents where the name came from. Also, learn about middle name and last name too.
4. The student can find out when the family first arrived in America. How did they come, from what country? Did they have a different first name and last name from the prior country? When was it? Why did they come to America? Where did they stay? What was the first job the adults had?
5. Make a family tree. Michaels craft center has a cute family tree made of bears. I just copy this and have the students fill it in with illustrations or photos. They try and get all the names of their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents.
6. Make a drawing of their favorite home they have lived in. Do a guided walk as they close their eyes. You have them walk through every part of their home, remembering details.
Cumulating project: a story about a favorite memory.
You can teach the genre of memoir writing. I like to use Sandra Cisneros â€“ House on Mango Street. We read the story, â€œHairsâ€. The students draw portraits of their family members and then do an imitative Hairs poem. We give it to the moms on Mother’s Day.
Memoirs are focused on the significance of a relationship and are supported by memories of specific experiences. They may focus on any individual person, place, animal, or thing. The success of the memoir lies in the writer’s ability to provide the reader with an understanding of the importance of the relationship.
Examples to Use with Students Examples of Memoir Writing
More Heritage Unit Opener Ideas