While it would be wonderful if every family had some sort of treasured heirloom which holds strong symbols about a family’s identity, such is not the case. Every family, however, has some sort of keepsake which reminds them of happy times, important people, or fond memories. A keepsake can be as simple as a pebble from a family vacation or a photo of a grandma. Keepsakes can be as powerful as a collar and tags from a dog that has passed away.
Your students will make a personal connection with this project. It takes critical thinking, creativity, it’s fun, and it’s standards-based. Use it as a GATE social-emotional lesson, as an introduction to primary sources for social studies, as an expository writing assignment, or simply as an exercise in critical thinking and creativity. It’s all of these!
In the Family Keepsakes Mini-project, students create a model of an important item to themselves and their family. They explore the keepsake’s importance and write and edit an expository essay about the item. This essay becomes a creative part of the product. Planning activities help create a seamless lesson along the way, and the resulting products make a great classroom display and opportunities for sharing.
Instructions, ready-to-print activity sheets, illustrative pictures, and Common Core references lead you through the process so you are ready to go with this lesson tomorrow!
Grade Levels—GATE 3rd grade through 6th
Class Time—about 5 hours
Materials—common craft and junk drawer items