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Students create a narrated video family tree photo story from a template in this lesson


Language Arts, Social Studies  


6, 7, 8  

Title – Who am I and Where am I from?
By – J. Garza
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 6-8 

Concept / Topic To Teach:

  • Students will create a family tree.
  • Students will fill out a “tree” on paper or one the teacher created, and will later transfer the information onto Photo Story where they will use pictures to describe their family and add narration and music to capture the audiences’ attention.

Texas Administrative Code Standards Addressed:

      (9) Reading/Comprehension of Informational Text/Culture and History. Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about the author’s purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. Students are expected to compare and contrast the stated or implied purposes of different authors writing on the same topic.
      (13) Reading/Media Literacy. Students use comprehension skills to analyze how words, images, graphics, and sounds work together in various forms to impact meaning. Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater depth in increasingly more complex texts. Students are expected to:

        (A) explain messages conveyed in various forms of media;


        (B) recognize how various techniques influence viewers’ emotions;


        (C) critique persuasive techniques (e.g., testimonials, bandwagon appeal) used in media messages; and


        (D) analyze various digital media venues for levels of formality and informality.


    (10) Communication. The student formats digital information for appropriate and effective communication. The student is expected to:

      (A) use productivity tools to create effective document files for defined audiences such as slide shows, posters, multimedia presentations, newsletters, brochures, or reports;

General Goal(s):

    Students will use technology to create and present their family tree and answer “Who am I and Where am I from?”

Specific Objectives:

  1. Students will interview their family
  2. They will use Photo Story to create their “tree” on slides
  3. They will narrate their story
  4. Students will use a computer, scanner, and digital camera to complete their video tree.

Required Materials:

  1. family tree template from internet or other source
  2. interview with parents, grandparents, etc.
  3. computer/internet
  4. Photo Story software
  5. Photos
  6. Script of narration
  7. Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street
  8. Photo Story tutorial

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):

      The lesson will begin by reading Sandra Cisneros’ Chapter 4, “My Name” from

The House on Mango Street

    . Students will explain why it is important to know their family history and their culture. As a class, we will discuss why it is educational to learn about their own family history.

Step-By-Step Procedures:

  1. As a class, we will read chapter 4, “My Name” of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
  2. The class then discusses the importance of our family history.
  3. Students will download a family tree template from internet  or other source and will begin to fill out what they know.
  4. A short tutorial on Photo Story (your own or one from YouTube or Microsoft) will capture their attention in completing their own story.
  5. Students will gather photos to scan and include them onto their story.
  6. Students will interview their family to help narrate their family history using Photo Story.
  7. Students will complete their project and present it for peer evaluation.

Plan For Independent Practice:

    Students will scan photos, write script, and will record themselves as they narrate their family history.

Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):

    After peer evaluation, students will complete their projects by adding transitions between slides, music, and narration.

Assessment Based On Objectives:

    A rubric will be used to guide students in creating a successful project and peer evaluation.


  • Students who need assistance will get help from their peers/teacher and
  • Their project can be minimized; for example to three generations.


  • Gifted students will be able to develop skills in movie-making and can use more than one song to transition between slides.

Possible Connections To Other Subjects:

  • Science (Genealogy)
  • Social Studies (family history/cultures)
  • Math (calculating generations)

E-Mail J. Garza !

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