Lesson: Geography

Lesson: Geography


Students will find locations associated with their family story on a map.


County, state, national and world maps



Ancestral home











Using the story of the class research person (in our case it was Amanda Colburn Farnham Felch, the Civil War nurse), follow her life story by plotting all the places she lived together with the students using a wall map or map projected on a screen or Smartboard or computer.  You can choose to be as specific as you want with the movement your story provides, showing movement within a town or from state to state, or to different countries.  

Discuss the changes your class research person would have seen in the different locals and how that person would have traveled.


  1. Using either maps on the computer, photocopied maps, or hand-drawn maps, each student tracks their own life. Depending on how much travel their lives have involved, they may need a town, county, state, country or world map.
  2. Repeat, but this time each student tracks the life of the person in their family they are researching.



  •    Create a Family Atlas: Using the internet, students gather maps and photos of their ancestral towns into a book or album, adding in details about the places and people in their family who lived there. They can add information about historic events that took place in these spots.
  • Historypin: as it is described on its website, www.historypin.com, is “a way for millions of people to come together to share glimpses of the past and build up the story of human history.” Students (with family permission) can add a photo of the person they researched and a description to a spot on a map associated with that person.
  • Google earth: students take a virtual trip to the spot where their family story took place.



Chapter 11 in The Kids’ Family Tree Book by Leavitt (Sterling, New York, 2005) is a great resource for geography and genealogy ideas.