How not to do family history

Last week, while scrolling through Twitter, this image jumped out at me. Oh my god, this is exactly how NOT to do family history in the classroom. Apparently the sixth grade teacher had not thought very clearly about the histories of her diverse students, or the purpose family history might serve in her classroom. Writing about […]

Family History in the Elementary Classroom

Teachers sometimes ask what advice I would give for family history projects with students. Since I was asked this question most recently by an elementary classroom teacher, and since developmental age of children does matter when deciding what is appropriate, I decided to devote this blog to teaching critical family history in the elementary classroom. For […]

Free Land Curriculum Guide

“How do we talk about white people’s genocide of Native Americans? How has it shaped the world in which we live? For those of us who are not Native, what is our relationship to the land we live on and to the Native American community?” (Ariel Luckey, Free Land Curriculum Guide, 2010, p. vii) Several […]

Using White Bread in College Courses

White Bread, a work of fiction, can be read for pleasure, and I hope many readers use it for that. However, it can also be used in college courses. Outside of literature courses, fiction does not make a frequent appearance, yet, as a form of art, fiction has considerable power to communicate and provoke thought. […]

Ancestors unKnown: Interview with Dana Saxon

Christine: I am having a conversation with Dana P. Saxon, Founder and Executive Director of an exciting resources for teachers, youth, and community organizations called Ancestors unKnown. Dana, on the website, readers can learn about the profound impact genealogy research had on you and why you developed Ancestors unKnown. Briefly, what would you say was the […]

Ethnic Studies and Critical Family History

How do Ethnic Studies and Critical Family History connect? Does Critical Family History have something to offer to the teaching of Ethnic Studies? I began pondering this question about fifteen years ago while teaching an undergraduate course entitled “Culture and Cultural Diversity.” My students were very ethnically and racially diverse; typically, there was no ethnic majority group […]

Teaching Critical Family History

I began developing the concept of critical family history after I had retired from the university and had time to “play” with questions about my own family history. Aside from publishing a couple of articles and giving several conference presentations about the concept, until recently I had not had an opportunity to teach critical family history. […]

German-American Internment in the U.S. Heartland

I became interested in German-American internment during the two World Wars when I found out that roughly 11,000 German Americans were, in fact, interned – a history few of us know. While none of my German-American ancestors were interned, one of my great-grandfathers, a German Methodist minister born in Germany, could well have been interned […]

Family History Books for Kids

How might teachers or parents guide young family historians? Just like considerable information exists in books and on the Internet for adults, so too are there many websites and books for kids. Here, I review three family history books for kids in the U.S. I selected them more or less out of a hat. When […]

Adoption in Family History

My grandson has six grandparents, only two of whom he is biologically related to. Sometimes I wonder how he might handle a family history assignment a teacher may give in school. Let me explain his family situation since adoption and blended families are increasingly common. My partner and his former wife adopted and raised a boy, now a […]

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