Roots, Branches and more!

Use this classroom activity to help students explore their family connections.

Created by Canada’s History

Posted February 6, 2020

This classroom activity is inspired by the article “Roots and Branches” from the Our Families issue of Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids

When people talk about their relatives they often talk about their family tree. But a lot of people’s family story couldn’t possibly fit onto just one tree. And for many people, that family is more like a forest than a single tree. A forest shows all the different ways people can be related to each other.


Challenge your students to draw their family connections.

Here are some ideas and questions to help with the drawing process:

  • If you drew your family connections, what would they look like?
  • Would one tree with lots of branches show your whole family?
  • Could your family look like two trees with intertwined roots?
  • Would you need a whole forest to display your connections?
  • Maybe your family is not in a forest at all. Could another visual help illustrate your family (ex. a coral reef, or a bee hive)?

Bonus: Challenge your students to try and illustrate the connections of some of the families featured in the February 2020 issue of Kayak.

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