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Ministry of Education.

Learning task 2

Learning Intentions

We are learning to:

  • research the origin of our family background/s
  • ask questions that elicit information from others
  • present visual information effectively

Key vocabulary / structures


Ancestors Relatives

My family are from …

Key Competencies Using Language Symbols & Texts
Relating to Others
Participating and Contributing
Principles and values Cultural Diversity
Community Engagement
Community and Participation

‘Here’s My History’ (Grab Bag)

(the grab bag is a large A3 sized paper shape of a bag – see the exemplar)


Inquiry Tasks

Students are to research their personal history using questions to interview family members. They are learning that choices people make are dependent upon their social environment and the choices that are available.

Use Template 1 - HW Grab Bag (Word 175KB) to interview at home: Students write suitable closed / open questions similar to the ones below to ask their family. In class students present ‘mock interviews’ on their classmates before taking the questions home:

  • Where is my family from (origin)?
  • How did we get to New Zealand? (Transport, decisions family members made, reasons for coming to this land etc.)
  • What is my genealogy?  (What are the names of my close relatives, and who are my ancestors?)

Students collaborate with their family members to identify their family history. They collect:

  • photos of themselves and their relatives / ancestors
  • names of their relatives and their relationship to them
  • any interesting information.

In some cases students phone relatives who live overseas, video record their interview or tape record it to present to class. They can also bring their family members to class and introduce them.

Present the research as a kete or grab bag:

The teacher introduces a personal grab bag of her/his own family history and shares this with the class.

Also explain how to arrange the information on the grab bag so it is easy to read on the wall with:

  • information organised clearly - including labels
  • suitable font size
  • colour to grab the viewer’s attention
  • an interactive element (the viewer can open pockets/lift out information)

Students work on their grab bag at home and present in class as an oral summary in small groups.

Teacher puts their bags on display in the class.


Have students now consider the Big Idea.

What do they think it means? Record their thinking as it is now on Template 2 - Before, During and After (Word 2007 17KB) , and explain that they will be learning more about cultural practices and revising their thinking in the middle and at the end of their learning journey.

What wonderings / questions do they have about the Big Idea? Students fill in Template 3 - My History Learning Log (Word 2007 33KB) to reflect on their learning and record their thoughts.

Extension tasks

Write an autobiography

Published on: 09 Jan 2018