MICDS 3rd-grade students and parents celebrated their family histories at the annual 3rd Grade Family History Museum on February 23. A product of the 3rd-grade social studies curriculum, which focuses on the growth of the United States and how people adapt to their surroundings, the Family History Museum project encourages students to develop a deeper understanding of these issues as they research their own family histories. Students framed their research on four essential questions:
- How and why did your family get here?
- Why do people move?
- How do people adapt to different surroundings?
- How is one person’s view of history different from someone else’s?
Third graders welcomed guests and shared their beautiful displays which included photos, family heirlooms, timelines of when their families came to America, and family stories. Many students shared that their favorite part of the project was learning stories about relatives they hadn’t heard before.
Kate shared two special heirlooms, a stuffed bear and elephant made from her great-great grandmother’s quilt. Kate explained that flour and sugar sacks were very soft back then and were used to make the quilt, and later turned into toys by her great-grandmother. Spencer showed an antique radio given to his family by his great aunt, and a photo of his great-great grandparents at the time of the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. Sara’s heirlooms were photos of swords used by her great-great uncle in the Civil War.
“Children who know about their family history have a greater sense of control over their lives. Knowing how over time their families have had ups and downs helps them to develop greater resilience and a sense of being part of a larger family,” said Cindy Bender, 3rd Grade Homeroom Teacher, when asked about the value of learning about one’s family history.