As a follow-up to last week’s post about Lorel’s photograph and sketch of her grandfather, I was thinking of other ways photos and sketches could be used by kids to illustrate their family histories.
In most schools kids around 4th or 5th grade have to do some sort of family history project. Often these are oral reports that must be turned in as a written report, PowerPoint presentations, or tri-fold board presentations. Regardless of which medium is used, students have the opportunity to illustrate their presentation. We all know a picture is worth a thousand words.
Photographs can be added to a Word document that must be submitted to the teacher. Photographs, clip art or scanned sketches can be added to a PowerPoint presentation to add life to the words on the screen and the presentation given. Tri-fold boards can also include blocks of text and photos or scanned sketches or the student may draw directly on the board.
If a student uses Sort Your Story and has not included these photos or sketches into their ancestors’ profiles, they can do so when the project is in progress or complete. Adding text used in the project to an ancestors file allows students the opportunity to continue growing that individuals story over time.
Kids love to draw and use photographs, so why not encourage them to do so in conjunction with their family history writing?
How do your kids use photos or sketches in their research?
© 2013, Lorel Kapke, Sort Your Story
Not everyone is a writer. Are you shocked to hear this? Well, it’s true. Not everyone is a writer. Some people communicate better through visual means such as photographs, creating collages, building folders of materials, painting, and drawing. So if you are not a writer does this mean you cannot create a family history? No!
This message is to those of us who know they will not write a story but WILL compile research records, notes, photo images, sketches, and various tidbits and data to create a book! Sort Your Story founder Lorel Kapke picked up her drawing pencil after 30 years and sketched a portrait of her grandfather.
He appears to be a “bit aged and not an exact replica”, yet it was her way to reach her grandfather through the ages… to ”talk to Walter” or get to know him on another level. Lorel found a way to achieve some intimacy by drawing Walter from a photo.
What can Lorel do with this sketch? She can show it to family members when they get together. Looking at a photograph or sketch may begin a conversation within the family. Lorel may find information on things that are “sort of” accurate and things that are not. It is a good idea to compare notes with family members! You never know what piece of the puzzle you are missing until you do.
Lorel can also write brief tidbits of information about her grandfather and compile them with her sketch to create a larger photo or collage of sorts. She is lucky to have been able to have many conversations with her father who mentioned tidbits about his father via their phone conversations 3000 miles away.
Whether you are a writer or more visual person, everyone has something to contribute to a family history. Talk to family members. Perhaps you will be the illustrator of a family history and someone else will be the writer. Collaborating you may produce an even more incredible history than either of you could have done alone.
© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, CA
As part of our quest to encourage you to write your family history, Sort Your Story author Jennifer Holik has joined the Family History Writing Challenge created by Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist. I accepted a 500 per day word count to write. Visit Lynn’s website to sign up for her writing challenge newsletter and review all the writing options and get started today. The challenge runs from today through February 28!
What else happens when you sign up? You will receive daily inspiration, tips, writing prompts, and articles from others who have been writing a while. Take what you need from her newsletters and apply it to your writing.
Where can you write? In Sort Your Story under each ancestor’s profile, your journal, your computer on Word or other programs, in scrapbooks, anywhere! Keep track of your word count and post it on your blog or in Lynn’s forums to help you stay accountable.
Will you join Jennifer in this challenge this month? Please share in the comments.
Many people have asked just how do you write a family history? There are many ways of doing so. In the coming weeks we will explore several options and provide several resources. Today let’s explore just some resources that will give you some inspiration on how to begin.
Stories to Tell is a company that assists authors with publishing. They have a book out on how to self-publish and a blog full of ideas and resources to get you started.
The Armchair Genealogist offers many suggestions on how to write; writing challenges; resources; and tips. One of her latest posts is about organization so you can prepare to write. But don’t stop there – scan her blog for the topics that interest you where writing is concerned.
Also check out the Family History Writing blog. Joy’s latest post offers plenty of resources to help you get started.
Need other inspiration and ideas? Check out local writer’s groups. Barnes and Noble stores often offer these. Many genealogy societies and historical societies offer writing groups. Some libraries have monthly or weekly groups as well. No groups in your area? Why not start one? Or, start one virtually with your geneabuddies!
The sky’s the limit where writing is concerned. Check back next week for more ways to sit down and start the process.
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Lorel Kapke