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Anne Frank: Heritage


Students explore the idea of immigration to America.

Intended Learning Outcomes

To understand about one's personal family heritage and history and how it relates to America as a whole. To learn about the variety of cultures in the USA.

Instructional Procedures


See preface material from 'Anne Frank in the World, 1929 - 1945 Teacher Workbook.'

Have students research the following questions.

  1. Where did your ancestors come from?
  2. Why did they come to America?
  3. Under what circumstances?
  4. Why did your family settle where they did?
  5. What is the origin of your surname?
  6. What does it mean?
  7. Was it changed when your family came to America?
  8. What traditions have been passed down in your family?
  9. What historical events affected your family most?
  10. What stories have been passed down for generations?
  11. What can you find out about your ancestors' lives?
  12. Are they similar or very different from your own? Why?

Have students keep a journal of all the information they learn about their families and own culture. Younger students can do this through family pictures and photocopies of and simple facts about their country of origin. Older students' journals should detail information about their family history and heritage.

The following suggestions are classroom opportunities. Have students discuss their findings during class.Extend the conversation to include these questions:

  1. What problems do today's immigrants face?
  2. What problems do various groups encounter because of race, culture, and religion?

Have students locate their family's place(s) of origin on a large classroom map. Use pushpins or colored stickers to keep a pertinent record throughout this study. Organize a culture sharing day for your class. Include storytelling, music, dance, food and costumes. Involve families if possible. Create a culture sharing chart to post on a classroom wall. The chart might include space for each student to note their name, place of origin, religion, favorite things, etc. Use the chart to promote a discussion of differences and similarities. Have students break into small groups to discuss what can be done to overcome prejudice and discrimination in our country. When the class comes back together have the students share their ideas and develop them to be put to work in their own schools or communities.

Created: 02/24/1997
Updated: 02/01/2018