A great way for kids to learn about their families is to make a family tree. And the most simple and painless way to do this is to have them make the family tree online. Many programs will draw out the tree for you, so you don't have to worry about your children drawing the tree with insufficient room. Just stand with them to answer their questions about family members, and you'll be helping them make a family tree in no time.
Encourage your children to do some research before attempting to make the tree. Give them a pack of index cards and some pencils, and suggest that they interview family members in preparation for making the family tree.
Tell your children to gather the following information for each person: Name, birth date, who they married, who their parents were, who their siblings are and who their children are. Children may also add any other short notes.
Have your children write the relevant information for one person per index card. Once they have interviewed all living family members, they may want your help to get information on deceased relatives. Be sure to help them until they have a reasonable stack of cards.
Go to the website listed in Resources, and click on the Online Version of the family tree maker. Start the program, and have your index cards at hand.
Click on the "Add Person" icon for each index card. Click on the arrow next to the person you've just added to fill in all the information about that person, using what is on the index card. Repeat this process for each index card, until you have an icon for each person on your screen.
Move the people icons around so the oldest people are on one side and the youngest people are on the other side. Then click on "Connect", and draw lines between people and their children. Be sure to print out your family tree once you are done!
Items you will need
- Index cards
- If you wish to save your family tree, try the downloadable version instead.
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