Family History Is Good Education
Byline: Kate Tsubata, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
One of the central questions humans seek to answer is that of identity: Who am I? What are my origins?
Connecting children with their ancestry is a great way to teach history, and to reinforce the values important to your family. Our family recently did a project of assembling old photos of our grandparents and great-grandparents, as well as those of the family today, and creating a PowerPoint slide presentation.
At first, it was a daunting process. Of course, the photos must be found, and electronically scanned or reshot with a digital camera. Once they are in document form, they can be inserted into the slides using the PowerPoint software. There are numerous attractive backgrounds that can be chosen to feature in the slides, and you can add text to identify the people and events being shown.
I found that by first creating most of the slides, I could then step back and see what the best format would be. One might want to arrange the slides chronologically, or by a key person, or by type of photo.
After rearranging the slides to tell the story in the most appropriate way, you may want to add music. I looked for songs that were family favorites, or were appropriate to the mood or time period. These can be inserted, similar to inserting a photo, but by clicking on the Custom Animation format you can specify how many slides through which the song should continue to play.
The program allows you to determine how long each slide will be shown, or you can click manually to advance to the next slide. It's flexible to your needs, and can be set slide by slide, or for all slides at once.
Doing this project allowed our family to recognize certain attributes and choices made long before we were born that continue to affect us. …