Family History Project

By: Miss Chani Gotlieb
from Manhattan High School for Girls

Interdisciplinary Integration

Subject(s) of entry:
Art, Computer Science, History, Ivrit, geneology

IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

Grade(s) to which this was taught:
12, High school

Grade(s) for which this will be useful:
9, 10, 11, 12, High school

Students research the genealogy of their families and present the stories of their ancestors within the historical and cultural context of the Jewish communities they came from.

Entry Narrative

The Family History Project, first launched in our school in 2013, has become by now one of the hallmarks of the senior year. In the course of their research, students spend quality time with their ancestors and bridge the inter-generational gap, linking themselves to the chain of tradition as they hear first hand the oral history of their family and record it for future generations. To fulfill the requirements students have to reach out to elderly family members, search for documents in family archives and data bases, read memoirs and books written by and about their ancestors, and hunt for photos, artifacts and footage that authenticate the stories. The culmination of their efforts is the presentation of their findings in an artistic way at an event attended by the people whose stories they unfolded and recorded. Attached please find the guidelines to the project and some samples of the works presented over the years in a variety of media. The power point presentations accompanied the speeches of those who chose to share their stories at the event. Especially moving are the concluding notes and personal letters I have received over the years from students in which they express the deep impact the research had on them.