When My Parents Were Children
Through interviews, children may learn that their parents had childhoods more colorful than their own!
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Idea: Language
- chart paper
- markers and crayons
Objective: Children will work collaboratively to develop a questionnaire to learn about their parents' childhoods.
In Advance: Talk with children about their favorite books, games, family trips, and music. After exploring the completed questionnaires in the following activity, invite children to compare their parents' responses to their own.
1. Begin by asking the class to share what they already may know about their mother's or father's childhood. Do they know where they lived or what their favorite activities were? Did they have small or large families? Invite children to brainstorm questions that they can ask their parents to learn what their lives were like when they were children. Record their comments on chart paper. Offer assistance if needed.
2. Use the questions children brainstormed to create a questionnaire to send home to families. Include a note describing the objective of the activity. Ask family members to read the questions and to discuss their answers with their child. In addition to answering the questions, family members can share mementos of their childhoods, including photos; favorite books, toys, and games; and souvenirs from family trips. What sort of music was popular when they were young? What sort of clothing? Invite family members to send in pictures from their childhoods that their child could share with the class.
3. Provide time for each child to share the questionnaire and photographs with the group. Ask questions to encourage discussions about their parents' childhoods. If a parent provides photographs and items from different stages of his life, children can observe and discuss how people change over time. Work with the class to develop a summary sheet to record what they learned and create a display to document this learning experience.
4. Later, encourage children to create a mural depicting their own childhood favorites. Hang the children's mural alongside the display of their parents' responses.
Curriculum Connection: Math
Comparing Our Childhoods. Create a Venn diagram with the class to compare their childhoods with those of their parents. Choose two different topics to compare, like favorite foods, activities, or whether they lived in a house or an apartment.