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Lesson Plan on Descent, Kinship and Genealogical Patterns: Shelby City African American Cemetery Project

            This lesson plan focuses on the Shelby City African American Cemetery Project in Junction City, Kentucky. The lesson’s main goal is to teach students about the historical importance of the cemetery, as well as an emphasis on descent, kinship, and genealogical patterns. Kinship is hard to define because it differs cross-culturally, but it is the intertwining of self and group that not only includes biological (blood) relations through reproduction, but it also spreads into political, national, and social relationships. Familiar relations are often bound up with politics and state structures due to regulations by state laws that define a legal family structure. There are two models to consider when discussing kinship. In the first, kinship is observed to be founded solely on biological notions, placing emphasis on ideas of “blood” relatedness, transmitted through biological reproduction. The second model, “is seen as based on codes of role-based behavior, such as nurturing, sharing food, caring, socialization, and general social support” or shared life experiences (Strathern & Stewart 2011: 5). This lesson focuses on the latter of these two models, stressing the relevance of kinship studies in today’s society, as well as serving as a gateway for students to begin questioning different ways kinship can be seen in history, their community, and in their own “families”.

Letter to Teachers

SCAAC Activity Grade 5

Lesson Materials

Published on August 18, 2015

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