All you have to do is start a story with “Back when I was kid,” and your kids roll their eyes and tune you out. It seems like kids these days are more and more disconnected from their ancestors’ lives. In generations past, kids grew up knowing about where they came from through hearing stories about previous generations. Today kids are so overwhelmed with technology and scheduled activities that they may miss out on learning about their family history. You can change that –and improve your kids’ writing skills at the same time– by playing this engaging game with them.
Show your child some old photos of your relatives and ancestors without identifying who the people in the photos. Ask your child who in your family the person in the photo looks the most like.
Instruct your child to write a few sentences describing what the person in the photo looks like. This description might include facial features, facial expression, clothing, stance or other details. This step will teach your child to pay close attention to details.
Challenge your child to brainstorm some guesses about what the ancestor in the photo may have been like.
Have your child to write either a short paragraph or two about what the person in the photo might have been like, a journal entry that the person in the photo might have written, or a short story that portrays the person in the photo as he or she might have been. Encourage your child to add as much detail as possible to his writing!
Tell your child the truth about the person in the photo. If you didn’t know the person in the photo personally, encourage the child to call someone who did.
Discuss which of your child’s predictions were correct.