For Teachers and Parents:
Doing a family tree can be a great opportunity for children to learn more about where they come from and how his or her family came to the USA. By putting their family information down out on paper will help them to remember relatives! For older students, writing out a family tree may open the door to creative writing.
You will find diagrams already made for basic family trees, and even extended family here on this site. Teachers could have students use pictures of family members as part of their project trees. Students could even write a story about their family to go with their family tree. Teachers may even want to have a competition to see who can trace back to the 1700's, 1600's and so on.
A few sites may even help the students: http://www.ancestry.com , http://www.rootsweb.com, http://www.familytreemaker.com, and http://www.genealogy.com. These sites can help students locate relatives they may not have known existed! You can determine the extent to which your students pursue this project, from a basic family tree to some in-depth research.
Additional activities you may want to consider:
Journalism - Have students videotape interviews.
Geography - Map ancestors' travels. Plot on a map the various towns and countries their ancestors were born in, and have them write a sentence or two about each location and why it was important.
Physical Features - A good collection of family photos makes this activity very entertaining. See if your students can determine which family members passed along the physical traits that make each student unique! Which relatives had the same shape nose or mouth? Which characteristic is repeated most often? Which characteristic will future children most likely inherit?