History Through Genealogy
A new set of lesson plans from PBS uses studies in African American genealogy to introduce students to historical-research techniques and personalize events in U.S. history.
Based on PBS’s four-part “African American Lives” documentary—being broadcast this month—the lessons provide resources to help middle and high school students investigate artifacts and primary sources, record and analyze family histories, and explore advances in DNA research on family lineage.
Apart from teaching research strategies, the materials are intended to show how historical events helped shape African American families.
Each lesson includes detailed classroom activities, downloadable handouts, online documentary sources, and “cross-curricular” suggestions. The site will also include a guide to genealogy.
According to the curriculum developers, the lesson materials, which can be used independently of the PBS broadcast, adhere to national standards in history and language arts.