Human Generations Over Time

Human Generations Over Time

Background Information

As its most personal level, history consists of the events and experiences making up a person’s background. Developing an awareness of human generations over time through personal experience allow the students to deepen their understanding of hat history means in general and of what makes up world history – that someone, somewhere, observed, remembered, participated in, talked about, or recorded something that happened.

The study of history lays the groundwork for an important part of cosmic education the Montessori elementary program – developing awareness of and thankfulness for those who have gone before and what they have contributed to the world today.

Creating a family tree introduces students to the concept of how family history builds over time. A family tree is a chart that shows the relationships of family members over time, including when they were born, when they died, whom they married, and sometimes where they lived. A family tree can be simple, with only three to five generations, or can go back centuries.

Making family trees usually involves three steps:

  • Students start by placing a row ofsxall rectangles across the bottom of the page, then in the rectangles print their own names and birthdates and those of their siblings, brothers or sisters having one or both parents in common. (Younger Year 4 students may find it enough to focus on parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, leaving out siblings.) To allow room for names and dates, students need to print neatly, in small letters.
  • Above this row, students can create ore small rectangles and in them place the names and birthdays of parents and parent’s siblings.
  • Finally, students can create a third row of small rectangles with the names and birthdates of grandparents and grandparent’s siblings.

Older students may want to continue as far back as they can go.

Family trees form the basis for genealogy, the study of the history of a family as far back as it cn be traced. A generation refers to the children of one set of parents and can include the children of the parents’ brothers and sisters. Genealogy involves looking for ancestors, the people from earlier generations to whom a person is biologically related. Genealogy can contain all kinds of information, including dates of births and deaths and the causes of death.

Genealogists, people who study and prepare genealogies, must keep information organized, which is why each generation appears a separate line. Vertical lines of rectangles link the siblings of one generation with those in the next. Under each member of the family tree, the rectangle shows the person’s name, birthdate, and date of death, and sometimes date of marriage, and even divorce. To allow room for all this information, most genealogists use abbreviations such as b. For birthdate, d. For date of death, and m. For married.

People can find out about their genealogy in several ways:

  • interviewing a parent, grandparent, or elderly relative.
  • reading family records such as journals, diaries, photo albums, and notes in Bibles.
  • looking for mention of family names in birth, death, and marriage records in courthouses, libraries, churches, hospitals, graveyards, and city halls
  • doing a web search.

Did you know?

Genealogy dos not just apply to humans. For example, someone who raises purebred dogs often needs to show a puppies pedigree, the word used to refer to an animal’s genealogy, in order to show that the puppy comes from parents of one particular breed. Someone who raises racehorses needs to provide a foal’s pedigree in order to prove that it comes from parents and grandparents with a good track record.   

Note to the teacher:

From the previous study of history on lower elementary, most students will be familiar with common terms referring to how time is counted in centuries, However teachers may wish to review use of these terms at the beginning of Year 4:

  • The abbreviation BYA refers to billion years ago, MYA to million years ago, and YA to years ago.
  • In many parts of the world, the year of Jesus Christ’s birth is considered year one. The years before Jesus’ birth are called BC, the abbreviation of “before Christ.” The years after Jesus’ birth are called AD, the abbreviation of Anno Domini, in Latin meaning in the year of the Lord.
  • Because many people I the word are not Christian, it is becoming increasingly common when referring to BC and AD to use more neutral terms. BCE, meaning Before the Common Era, often now replaces BC. CE, meaning the Common Era, often replaces AD.
  • In the English language, AD is usually written before a year, Example: AD 1566. BCE is usually written after a year. Example: 35 BCE. On the other hand, both BCE and CE are usually placed after a year. Example: 89 BCE and 1399 CE. Often when referring to yearsAD or CE, only the year is written. Example: 2007.

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