VGS GENEALOGY SCHOOL - TEACHER'S CORNER 

Teacher guides and resources for teaching genealogy.

Helpful notes and support materials to assist teachers, parents and youth leaders
teach family history using our genealogy activities and lesson plans.

Provided by the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS), Victoria, BC, Canada

 

Below are teacher guides to be used in conjunction with their associated student activity materials in the classroom section of this website.

When you need an alternative: It is important to clarify that these lessons were developed to allow children from a variety of family circumstances to participate. Regardless, there may be instances where a child or family may not want to research their own family's history and this can be easily addressed by encouraging those students to research the family history of a person close to them such as a best friend or special neighbour, thus enabling them to participate fully in the activities.

Also below are a few links to some of our favourite programs developed by other organizations.

 

1-2-3 GO!  -  GENEALOGY LESSON SERIES TEACHER GUIDES

The following teacher notes and guides are to be used in conjunction with the 1-2-3 Go! lesson materials.

These lessons were developed for upper elementary and middle school students, but can be adapted for other ages and grade levels as well as for a variety of family circumstances.

 

1 - TALK TO YOUR FAMILY FIRST! NOTES

The objective is to produce a questionnaire to be used to gather family information for use with Grow Your Family Tree and My Own Time Machine.

To SEE the teacher notes for this genealogy activity, go to the Talk to Your Family First! Notes page.

To PRINT these teacher notes, download the Talk to Your Family First! Notes PDF file.

2 - GROW YOUR FAMILY TREE and WHO IS MISSING FROM YOUR FAMILY TREE? NOTES

A family tree is a chart that shows the members of a family. Children must first gather some of their family information as described  in Talk to Your Family First! before starting this activity.

To SEE the teacher notes for both these genealogy activities, go to the Grow Your Family Tree Notes page.

To PRINT these teacher notes, download the Grow Your Family Tree Notes PDF file.

 

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO NOTES

An added activity that explores the wealth of information available in the 1901 and 1911 Canadian Census, to help you Grow Your Family Tree.

To SEE the teacher notes for both this genealogy activity, go to the One Hundred Years Ago Notes page.

To PRINT these teacher notes, download the One Hundred Years Ago Notes PDF file.

 

3 - MY OWN TIME MACHINE NOTES

The purpose of this activity is for children to organize and record the family history data they gathered in Talk to Your Family First! and Grow Your Family Tree. They will also learn that events surrounding their family may have affected the family’s decisions. In this activity, children will create a vertical timeline table to depict their family events which have occurred over a period of time.

To SEE the teacher notes for this genealogy activity, go to the My Own Time Machine Notes page.

To PRINT these teacher notes, download the My Own Time Machine Notes PDF file.

 

MY FAMILY! MY STORY! - GENEALOGY LESSON SERIES TEACHER GUIDES

The following teacher notes and guides are to be used in conjunction with the My Family! My Story! lesson materials.

These lessons were developed for upper elementary and middle school students, but can be adapted for other ages and grade levels as well as for a variety of family circumstances.

 

1 - FAMILY HEIRLOOMS NOTES

An heirloom is something that has been in the family for a generation or more. Students choose a family keepsake and explore why it was valuable to your family.

To SEE the teacher notes for this activity, go to the Family Heirlooms Notes page.

To PRINT these teacher notes, download the Family Heirlooms Notes PDF file.

2 - FAMILY PHOTOS NOTES

"A picture is worth a thousand words."   Family photos are used to create a "Then and Now” poster to  illustrate the students' family history.

To SEE the teacher notes for this genealogy activity, go to the Family Photos Notes page.

To PRINT these teacher notes, download the Family Photos Notes PDF file.

3 - MY OWN STORY NOTES

The purpose of this activity is for children to understand the importance of writing their personal stories and of sharing them as part of their family’s history.  In the My Own Story activity they will learn how to choose a topic, plan and write a personal narrative. The objective is for the children not only to write an engaging story, but also to feel positive about their writing and feel encouraged to write more.

To SEE the teacher notes for this genealogy activity, go to the My Own Story Notes page.

To PRINT these teacher notes, download the My Own Story Notes PDF file.

 

OTHER TEACHER RESOURCES AND LINKS

Links to third-party sites provide help, instruction and/or genealogy lessons for the classroom.

Genealogy and Family History
Library and Archives Canada (LAC): Guides on how to start family history research, including strategies, organizing information, and  types of records found at the national Canadian Archives.

A Journey Through Time!
Genealogy at School --5th to 8th Grades: A Lesson Plan from Library and Archives Canada’s ‘Canadian Genealogy Center’ for students to learn more about conducting genealogical research on the challenges that their ancestors and others experienced during their immigration to Canada and their migration within Canada.

Heritage Education – The Amazing Heritage Challenge
Grade 10 Lesson Plan (PDF,1.86MB; may download directly without displaying in your browser)
This tool for teaching heritage history from the Province of British Columbia focuses on buildings in the community of significant heritage value.  The study of family history is enriched by learning more about the locations, culture and events that influenced our ancestors' lives.

Cenotaph Remembrance Project Lesson Plans
Pam Calvert’s highly acclaimed Remembrance Projects first introduced at Oakville’s Trafalgar High School uses Library and Archives Canada’s genealogical military documents on soldiers who served and died in WWII.

From Blacksmiths to Blackboards
A virtual village modeled after those found in 19th century Quebec is provided by the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  The site includes Lesson Plans (visit their "Teacher's Corner" section once on their site) on subjects like “Tradespeople in 19th Century Quebec” and “Quest” challenges with mysteries to solve.

 

 

Don't miss even more genealogy resources on our school library and supplies pages.