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Researching Students' Ancestors for the International Festival

By Beth Newingham on March 23, 2012
  • Grades: 3–5

For our International Festival, students (with the help of their parents) determine the countries their ancestors lived in before coming to America. They then choose one of those countries to study as we begin research/report units of study in reading and writing workshops for about a month.

The geography of the students’ countries, along with their countries’ popular cuisine, holidays, festivals, clothing, system of education, sports, and language are all studied as students use reference books and teacher-selected websites to gain information that is ultimately used to create a final report/book. Students spend lots of time in class using library books and Internet resources to collect information on the countries of their ancestors.

They first take notes on index cards, each card representing a different topic of research (clothing, food, education, housing, holidays and festivals, popular sports, governments, etc.). They then write rough drafts before finally turning their research into a final report. The final research books are displayed for parents and all other guests at the International Festival to enjoy.

Check out photos of my students doing research for the International Festival.

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