Sunday, April 21, 2013

FHE Lesson {Family Narrative}

Recently I read this article on how family stories create strong families and resilient kids. It came from this New York Times article and I really enjoyed it and it got me thinking about the
20 things you should know Test wherein they found kids who know the answers to these questions about their families seem to fare better than those that don't.  That shared knowledge creates an “intergenerational self,” a belief that somehow creates resilience as we come to understand we are part of something that started long before. It wasn't just knowing the family history facts, but having it told often at family dinners, holidays, family reunions, car trips etc that made the difference.

That very night I sat with the girls and asked them questions about where their grandparents were from, how they met, name people they knew in the family, a few funny stories I remembered and they were so surprised that grandma had 35 cousins and demanded a Family reunion pronto! It was a great time laughing and chatting I knew a FHE lesson on this topic was needed.

Opening Song: Here we are together #261

Opening Prayer: Child

There are many ideas listed - use as many or as few as needed.
Alternatively use this topic to focus on for a few weeks.

Print out any photos you have of family members. Especially grandparents, great grandparents etc. Ask the children to guess who they are. Tell any stories you know about them.

Print out some family photos. We used 2 photos that had four generations of family members in each photo.  Cut photo into pieces (like a jigsaw) and hide individual pieces around the house. Ask children to search the house for the 'missing' photo pieces.

Put photos together. Ask if they recognise any of the people in the photos.  Point out any great grandparents/family members they might not know.

Talk about the importance of 'finding our those of our family' who lived a long time ago. We try to remember all our relatives by keeping our family history.


We have little voice snippets/video segments of our children saying "Hi my name is ____ I am ____ years old. My favourite thing is ____ .  It is so fun to look back on the old ones and how they used to sound. Our 7 year old was mimicking her 4 year old voice after we did this activity. She was surprised at how 'babyish' she sounded.

Since we only have a couple of these snippets we thought it might be a nice thing to record each year. Maybe New Years day would be a good day for it? Anyway we spoke about how we can record our OWN family history about ourselves, so our children and grandchildren can never forget how we were.

We said our names, ages, where we live, what we like to do. Each segment lasted about 30secs to 1min.

We saved them as video files in our documents on the computer.

A fun way to teach family history, and to look back on in years to come.

Talk about your love story and how you met and where you lived and where you got married. Show pictures, read out journals from that time. Also mention how Grandma and Grandpa met and married too.

Show some pictures of your childhood and tell some funny stories of things you got up to as a child. Ask children if they can remember something funny from their childhood.

If your family comes from many places, get out a map or globe and look at the places your ancestors came from. Point out who came from where and show pictures of what those places look like.

Talk about the origins of your childs name. We chose our kids names because the meanings were important to us. Look up the meanings. Their middle names come from family history. Look up family tree and show them where their name comes from.

Talk about some of the bad times your family might have been through in the past {illnesses, moving far away, or naughty things did as a kid} focus on the positive - in that people got better, we made it through, we made new friends, I learnt not to play with matches etc.

Invite a grandparent or family member to join your FHE and tell some wonderful stories!

Use the 20 questions to create your own dialogue/games/chat with your children.

1. Do you know how your parents met?
2. Do you know where your mother grew up?
3. Do you know where your father grew up?
4. Do you know where some of your grandparents grew up?
5. Do you know where some of your grandparents met?
6. Do you know where your parents were married?
7. Do you know what went on when you were being born?
8. Do you know the source of your name?
9. Do you know some things about what happened when your brothers or sisters were being born?
10. Do you know which person in your family you look most like?
11. Do you know which person in the family you act most like?
12. Do you know any illnesses and injuries that your parents experienced when they were younger?
13. Do you know some of the lessons that your parents learned from good or bad experiences?
14. Do you know some things that happened to your mom or dad when they were in school?
15. Do you know the national background of your family (such as English, German, Russian, etc)?
16. Do you know some of the jobs that your parents had when they were young?
17. Do you know some awards that your parents received when they were young?
18. Do you know the names of the schools that your mom went to?
19. Do you know the names of the schools that your dad went to?
20. Do you know about a relative whose face "froze" in a grumpy position because he or she did not smile enough?

Remember to be positive in linking the child of today into family lore.

Lessons for Small Children

Print out photos of family members {mum and dad and grandparents and aunty and uncle etc} Get them to guess who they are. Point and say the names.

While looking through a family photo album talk about how much you love them and what it was like before they were born and while you were waiting for them.

Making a video or audio file of them talking. Ask them some easy questions to answer.

Closing Song: Families Can Be Together Forever #188

Closing Prayer: Child

Treat:  Share a dessert in a big bowl together.

1 comment:

Sheryl said...

I love your blog. I use it a lot. I have four kids six and under one boy and three girls. Thanks SO much! I am also using content from this particular lesson in the Relief Society Lesson on Sunday.

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