Skip to main content

Expanding the reach of family history education

Developed by experts at American Ancestors/NEHGS, this free-to-access national curriculum is designed to expose students in grades 4 through 8 to the concepts, benefits, and joys of family history. Each lesson incorporates authentic methodologies used by professional genealogists, along with inclusive teaching strategies to ensure genealogy is accessible to all students.

A teacher, smiling, leans down between two students at a table to see their work.

Empower all students to discover their personal connection to history

  • Inquiry-based lessons that align with the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards
  • Inclusive teaching strategies to ensure genealogy is accessible to all students
  • Authentic methodologies used by professional genealogists
  • Flexible lessons with step-by-step instructions
  • Culturally responsive primary sources and case studies

 

Free to Access

  • Full curriculum and lesson-by-lesson downloads
  • Editable student handouts
  • Editable Google Slides presentation
  • Case studies of historic figures
  • And more!
More About the Curriculum

This curriculum aims to empower students to explore family history in a safe way. All students, regardless of their background and family configuration, should be given an equal opportunity to develop critical skills to better understand themselves and the shared human experience.

Objectives

  • Empower students to develop critical research and thinking skills
  • Empower teachers to effectively teach genealogy to all students
  • Inspire the next generation of family historians

Target Audience

  • Lesson plans target grades 4-8
  • Teaching strategies target grades K-12

Standards

  • C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards
  • Common Core State Standards
  • NCSS National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
  • Language Arts and Social Studies State Standards

Teach Skills and Methodologies Used by Professional Genealogists

Hearing and knowing family stories can have powerful emotional benefits for students. This curriculum empowers young students to develop critical skills needed to record individual and collective memories, which can help students develop a stronger sense of identity, belonging, and purpose.
Marshall P. Duke, PhD
Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology Emeritus, Emory University

 

Lessons are based on the same methods that professional genealogists use every day. Students experience the entire process of doing genealogy, from finding and evaluating sources to drawing conclusions and sharing their findings. I wish I had this opportunity when I was a student!
David Allen Lambert
Chief Genealogist, American Ancestors

Press Room

History Class Gets Personal (The Wanderer, February 1, 2024)

Old Rochester Regional High School Celebrates Students’ Findings in Genealogy Course (Old Rochester Regional School District, January 19, 2024)

Unraveling Roots: Cultivating Genealogy as an Instructive Journey (Maine Department of Education, August 2, 2023)

Essay Contest Celebrating Mayflower's 400th Anniversary Offers Prizes To Students (CBS News Boston, February 13, 2020)

Recorded Webinar: Using the National Family History Curriculum

Learn about the challenges and opportunities when teaching and learning genealogy, and hear an overview of the lesson plan sequence and key teaching strategies in our curriculum.

Teacher Training

Schedule a free training with our Youth Genealogy Curriculum Coordinator and learn how you can implement the family history curriculum in your classroom.

Youth Education Resources

Discover more resources and activities to engage young people with family history research.

Virtual Field Trips

Take a field trip without leaving your classroom! Introduce your students to the concepts, benefits, and joys of family history. Students will learn how to think like a genealogist and discover how to trace families back in time.

Join Our Mailing List!

Get updates on youth family history education and be the first to access new lesson plans and material.

Access the Curriculum

Thank you to our many donors

The Brue Family Learning Center