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Activity Day Ideas #3

Before this activity I sent the girls home with a blank pedigree chart (pdf) and instructions to fill out the chart as much as possible with a parent and to find a story from their family history (recent or distant past) to share with the group.

The girls brought their charts, and we glued them into their booklets. And then we took turns sharing our stories. I kind of enjoyed that part of the evening (especially since some of the stories involved the girls’ parents). However much I enjoyed it, the girls didn’t really like it (and I suspect one of them ‘forgot’ to tell her parents about it and missed it on purpose).

To be honest I don’t know how one could make a family history activity fun. In my experience either you have the family history bug or you don’t, and if you don’t have it then this sort of stuff is boring no matter how you dress it up. However it is one of the goals listed under Learning and Living the Gospel, and that is one category that they all needed work on. So I thanked the girls for powering through it and promised them a fun activity next time.

So, anyone have ideas about how to make filling out a pedigree chart and sharing family history stories fun?


Starfoxy is a fulltime caretaker for her two children.

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3 Responses

  1. Hmm. I teach vocal music to the lower grades at my son’s school (as a volunteer), and a couple of years ago we did a genealogy/geography/music project. I had the teachers’ full cooperation, and they handled the geography piece. We sent pedigree charts home with the kids with instructions to go back four generations or as many as they could, and hopefully far enough to get everyone off the North American continent. I took the results and found songs from many of the countries represented, and taught them to the kids in their original languages (including Chinese and Ukrainian!). It was a huge hit, and they still request some of the songs. Now, my son attends an alternative program for highly gifted students, so your activity day girls may be less excited than they were about making things more challenging. 🙂

  2. anita says:

    One thing that could be fun is doing a pedigree chart for a fictional family they all know and love–Harry Potter, or something along those lines. When my daughter’s biology class learned about dominant/recessive genes by filling out a half-blood Muggle chart, it was much more meaningful/interesting to them.

  3. mskaz says:

    Last year my daughter and I did her pedigree chart (she was 8 at the time) and then we made a family tree that she framed. She enjoyed it so much I later did it with our YW. Basically, I used 12×12 scrapbook paper as the background, cut out a tree with brown cardstock (I’m no artist, but it turned out okay). I have a Cricut so we used that to cut out a lot of leaves in different colors. So she decorated the tree and then using small rectangles cut out of cardstock she did the names and dates, starting with herself at the trunk and branching out.

    It was actually quite simple to do with a little prep work and turned out really attractive. She was so proud of it that just last week she took it to school to share with her peers at “show and tell” or whatever it is that they call it. She became interested in all the little details about who the people were (we went back to her Great-Grandparents) and asked me questions about each of them as we worked. So it was a nice way to share family history in a way that didn’t seem boring.

    When I did it with the YW, we did it as a Personal Progress goal and even they enjoyed it!

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