Roots - A Native American History Project

Overview and Objectives

Time required

Minimum of 12 class periods (50 minute periods)

Enduring Understandings and Big Ideas

  • Robert Heinlein once said, "A generation which ignores history has no past and no future."
  • The elders of a community in traditional societies help guide the young with their wisdom and their experience. Our elders have a tremendous frame of reference due to the large scope of life lessons they have experienced. These life lessons help mold us into the individuals we become; their past experiences have earned them the trust, respect, and honor they deserve. It is from listening to them, observing them, and learning from them and their vast realms of experience that future generations are blessed.

Learning Objectives

Students will write narrative poetry.

Students gain an understanding of their family's place in history through interviewing elders of their families, through filling in a family tree to trace ancestry, and through using maps to trace family roots.

Materials/Classroom Resources

  • A writing journal or notebook for each student
  • Books about families and memories (Examples: Saltypie, A Choctaw Jorney from Darkness into Light, Where I'm From, Momma, Where Are You From?) See the Resources page of this Learning Center for publication information.
  • Family tree forms
  • interview Protocol (Click HERE to download a version suitable for printing and copying for students)
  • Assessment rubric
  • Three-ring binder for each student