The Family Tree Project offers students a chance to conduct research and dig into their own family history to discover and document lineage, stories, traditions, recipes, immigration dates and other cultural heritage for today and for posterity. The assignment includes a clear list of requirements, rubric, and student reflection and self-assessment. It is also grounded in the CCSS. The Family Tree Project is a student favorite and fits very nicely when studying Immigration in US History. The assingment is a great conversation starter for rich story time with family friends (parents, grandparents and other family members love helping with this assignment).
Note: we often assign this assignment during our study of the Gilded Age and the Second Industrial Revolution in order to help students find relevance and make connections to the time period. On the day the assignment is due, we have story time and invite each student to share a little bit about what they learned (favorite story, recipes, traditions) and encourage students to bring in food and music that are family favorites or showcase their cultural heritage.