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Lesson Plan

Exploring and Sharing Family Stories

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Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Seven 45-minute class sessions, plus time for interviews and writing
Lesson Author

Kristina McLaughlin

Kristina McLaughlin

East Palestine, Ohio


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



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.

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Faust, M. (2004). Mixing memory and desire: A family literacy event. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 47(7), 564572.

  • 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.

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