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Exploring and Sharing Family Stories
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Unit|
|Estimated Time||Seven 45-minute class sessions, plus time for interviews and writing|
East Palestine, Ohio
In this lesson, students are encouraged to explore the idea of memory in both large- and small-group settings. Students access their own life experiences and then discuss family stories they have heard. After choosing a family member to interview, students create questions, interview their relative, and write a personal narrative that describes not only the answers to their questions but their own reactions to these responses. These narratives are peer reviewed and can be published as a class magazine or a website.
- The topic of memory can engage students in both reading and writing, especially if those activities act as a bridge between school and family.
- Students can be encouraged to view their own life history and that of other family members as a composition that is created through memory and that is therefore subject to constant revision and documentation.
- Requiring students to pay attention to and craft both their own memories and those of other people can help them become more thoughtful readers and writers in other contexts.