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Family Trees in School

(17 Posts)
SouthernandCross Thu 29-Sep-11 08:55:26

DD1 is in Y5 and has been asked to do her family tree for a school project.
Thats all the information we have- do a 'family tree'. I've asked her to go back and ask the teacher and she's not providing any more detail.
How far back would you expect a child of that age to go, and what sort of information would you expect them to provide about each member of the tree?
I'm not doing it for her, but will give her the information she needs.
I was thinking about going back to her GGPs and providing DOB and DOD?

mollschambers Thu 29-Sep-11 08:58:47

That sounds fine to me. Wouldn't think teacher would expect any more than that from a yr5.

seeker Thu 29-Sep-11 09:00:13

Sounds fine to me. If there's anything short and interesting she could add that might be worth doing- my dd's great grandmother started her own business in the 1920s and that started a very interwting class discussion on women in society, and which ehe still refers to 5 years later!

2madboys Thu 29-Sep-11 09:27:04

Second what Seeker said. Anything you already know, and if you've researched further back, give her that info to take too. We have quite an interesting (extremely) distant relative who we had some information about, so took that as we'd already done the research, but for DS, this was probably no more interesting than finding that his teacher had been born in the same military hospital as DH!

dizzyday07 Thu 29-Sep-11 10:12:13

I wouldn't have thought that most people know any further back then their own Grandparents - so their childs Great Grandparents - and this would give a good number of people on the tree

BoozeDilemma Thu 29-Sep-11 13:50:50

I think the teacher will have kept it vague as so many children have very different types of family. Imagine she'd said "do a family tree back to your great grandparents" and the child was adopted from a Third World orphanage with no knowledge of his/her birth family. Might that not casue unecessary strain at home? Much better to leave it open so that families can do their own interpretation of a "family tree". My son did one and we concentrated on all the children of his generation, ie a long long line along the bottom of the page. After that, we filled in sketchy details of all those childrens parents. Not many of the children of his generation are actual blood relations, due to many step families and multiple marriages, but we try to impress upon our kids that they have lots of "almost" cousins and that blood relatives are not the be all and end all of life grin Putting in the birthdates of each child was interesting and led to a long discussion about how you can have a 'cousin' who is 25 years older than you. I think this kind of homework is what the teacher is aiming at, rather than 30 identical 3-generation conventional "trees".

SouthernandCross Thu 29-Sep-11 14:05:53

BD, I think you've hit the nail on the head there. This kind of thing always proves difficult in our family as I have very little to do with my mother and her family, and brings up all kinds of difficult questions sad

GrimmaTheNome Thu 29-Sep-11 14:11:35

Just provide as much information as you have for as far back as she wants to go.

I'm always a little suprised that this seems to be a standard piece of junior school work - while its interesting for many, there must be some children for whom it is quite painful.

mummytime Thu 29-Sep-11 14:11:47

My kids have done this, they compare their family tree to the Tudors. However they can do the Tudors instead.
We did ours back to pre-tudor times because DCs grandad had done family research, so we have it all in a cupboard somewhere.

Actually lots of "step"s would be interesting to compare with the Tudors. I'd also probably mainly concentrate on one side. I'd also compare how the Tudors had difficult relations, eg. Henry Viii's mother's father was killed by his father etc.

koalalou Thu 29-Sep-11 17:17:18

If either DD had this project I would probably encourage them to include dob, dod and place of birth as this would provide an interesting dimension regarding where some of our family came from.

SouthernandCross Thu 29-Sep-11 17:30:30

Koala, place of birth is a good idea. Thanks.

Kewcumber Thu 29-Sep-11 17:35:22

"I think the teacher will have kept it vague as so many children have very different types of family. Imagine she'd said "do a family tree back to your great grandparents" and the child was adopted from a Third World orphanage with no knowledge of his/her birth family."

BoozeDilemma - oh wouldn't it be lovely if all tachers thought it through that much. My son is in exactly the position you descibe. They don't.

In reception DS had to talk to the class (as did each child in turn) about his life when he was a baby using a box of important objects brught in fom home. I had to have a word with the teacher and explained to her that she might not be up for a talk "my life in the institution"! She knew his situation in advance and still didn't think it through.

teacherwith2kids Thu 29-Sep-11 22:34:32

Have to say I would never dream of setting a family tree task for my class.... there are some VERY complicated family relationships (the whole x is my cousin but y - also in the same class - is my aunt and z has the same dad as me but the same mum as a over there thing)....

SouthernandCross Sun 02-Oct-11 13:28:24

Would you restrict the tree to straight ancestors ( parents/Gparents and GGrandparents) or would you include siblings, step parents and siblings, cousins and uncles/ aunts etc. Bear in mind this tree needs to be hand written.

koalalou Sun 02-Oct-11 22:16:08

It depends what you think would make an interesting family tree for your DD.

You might want to consider making it 'circular' so that you can include all, rather than just one or two particular lines (usually male). ie DC in the middle and each generation (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents etc) radiating outwards. However, if one line is particularly interesting then you could just focus on this, and then you could possibly include a few of the more complicated aspects.

CardyMow Mon 03-Oct-11 00:43:01

I HATE the family tree thing. Oh GOD DS1 is in Y5 this year - that's the year DD had to try to do it.

My family tree is almost impossible to draw - two of my uncles (my dad's brothers) married two sisters. My Mother was the sister's stepsister. Try bloody drawing THAT on a family tree...

Also, my mother has remarried and had my (half) Dbro with my stepdad...

Plus my maternal Grandad has been married 3 times (dc from all marriages), My maternal Grandmother has been married twice, and even my Maternal Grandfather's father (my Great-grandad) was on hios second marriage and my Grandad was born from the second marriage not the first, and he has older half-siblings...

I HATE this exercise!

Tianc Mon 03-Oct-11 01:05:47

Truncate and edit, Hunty, it's perfectly legit.

I do lots of family history, and with a database of over 2000 people, I have to pick and chose which lines to follow and whose stories to tell, every time I share it with another researcher. They all had multiple and cousin marriages, too, they just do it to annoy, but yours is heading for Royal Family complexity! <impressed>

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