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Ancestry Float Identity Project for Kids

Kids who understand who they are and where they come from thrive. Help kids explore their heritage by creating an ancestry float!

Children who understand who they are an where they come from thrive – family stories are so important! I have seen study after study explaining this, so I was thrilled to learn that Johnny’s second grade teacher would spend a significant part of the year exploring heritage and family stories. As part of this exploration, Johnny was asked to create an ancestry float – like a parade float – that would include symbols of who his family is and where they came from. I think this ancestry float identity project for kids is brilliant! Johnny loves to keep things simple and clean, and that is reflected in his parade float design, but he still managed to incorporating several symbols representing his family.

Ancestry Float Identity Project for Kids

Help kids develop their sense of self by exploring their heritage through an ancestry float! Johnny’s teacher kept this assignment pretty open-ended, and I am a big fan of kids being in charge of their own school projects. I did help him brainstorm ways to complete the project, from drawings to printing out pictures and photos. In the end he opted for Sculpey polymer clay, which is always popular in our house.

We brainstormed a lot of items that could be used to represent Johnny’s heritage. This is what he picked:

  • A musical note (that’s the tiny black thing) to represent all of my family’s music.
  • A red cross to represent his grandmothers (both sides of the family) who were nurses and his great-grandfather (Mike’s family) who was a doctor.
  • A book (green and white) to represent our family’s love of reading and writing.
  • An immigrant ship, because his ancestors sailed to the United States hoping for a better life.
  • Edinburgh castle, because his sister Emma was born in Scotland.
  • A covered wagon, because we have a lot of pioneer ancestors.
  • An ear of corn, because his grandpa (and mom, for a few years) grew up on a corn farm.
  • A Cessna, because Mike, his dad, and his dad’s dad were all single engine plane pilots.

A Perler bead computer to represent his dad’s career as a computer scientist and my blogging.Help your child explore their heritage by creating an ancestry float. Children who understand who they are an where they come from thrive - family stories are so important!
We had a list of other things to add, but some required printing and my computer and printer were all packed up (did you notice how silent this blog was?) to accommodate a new carpet installation in the upstairs of the house. That project took three times as long as it was supposed to, and then Johnny decided the project was finished. There is always more that can be added, but I think being able to say “it’s enough” is an important life skill. Johnny was pleased with the final result, and his friends thought it was neat, too – double win!

What would you put on an ancestry float?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

6 thoughts on “Ancestry Float Identity Project for Kids”

  1. I love this project! I would put things like the Swedish flag (my great grandfather immigrated from Sweden), a camera (my grandmother worked for Kodak for many, many years), an oil rig (my grandfather worked in the oil business), a ship (my dad was in the Navy), animals (my mom is an animal lover through and through). I’m sure there’s more, but I’ll stop there. :)

  2. Hmmmm…… That’s a good question, now you’ve got me thinking. My kids know the story of our current generation, but not much about the generations before.

  3. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    I love it, and this is so uniquely “his” project. It looks like your second grade did a lot more with heritage unit than ours did. I still shudder at the thought of “heritage report” :D

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