River Forest students learn from ancestory
Brothers Vincent (wearing the gas mask) and Rowan Solari presented a display on their grandfather Joe Solari, who fought in World War II. Lincoln Elementary School's second grade held a Living History Fair Friday morning. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:36AM
RIVER FOREST — Lincoln Elementary second grade students presented their family culture and ancestry to community members last week.
“This is my favorite project at the school,” Principal Pam Hyde said. “It’s both meaningful and special.”
Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and more attended the Living History Fair at Lincolne in River Forest last Friday. Each student made a display presenting artifacts representing their ancestry.
“It’s interesting and wonderful to see kids get excited about their family’s history,” Hyde said.
Students Cole Ruehle and Logan Smith enjoyed interacting with all who attended the fair.
“I liked talking to everyone about my history,” Ruehle said.
Smith also enjoyed learning about his fellow students’ family history.
“I learned you can find arrowheads in Texas,” he said.
The students have discussed families, family traditions and cultures, ancestors and heritage, and comparisons to past and present in their social studies classes.
The fair idea got started about seven years ago when second grade teacher Barbara Mayer’s son had a living history fair at Whittier Elementary in Oak Park
“I thought the fair would be perfect for our curriculum,” Mayer said.
Mayer said students learn about different generations and important presentation skills through the project.
For example, one of her students learned generations of family had attended Oak Park-River Forest High School, for 127 years.
“Every student has a story to tell,” Mayer said.