How to make a family tree for school

Updated February 21, 2017

A family tree project helps a child map out the members of his family. This is a chance to learn about the generations of the family she has been born or adopted into. It helps give him a sense of belonging. You can use a drawing or photo of a tree to help the child understand that a family starts with roots and branches out as each generation causes it to grow.

Draw, photocopy or purchase a picture of a large tree with full branches. Tape it to the centre of the paper or poster board you have chosen.

Write the names of great-grandparents in the roots of the tree. Fill the left side in for the paternal side of the family and the maternal on the right side of the tree. Write in their wedding dates if you know them.

Write the names of the grandparents on the trunk of the tree and add their wedding dates if you know them. Keep the maternal grandparents on the right side of the tree and the paternal on the left side.

Write the names of the parents, aunts and uncles on the heavy limbs of the tree corresponding to their sides of the family. Add in their dates of births, if possible. Center the names and wedding date of the student's parents at the top of the tree.

Draw lines at the edges of the greenery on the tree, using a ruler as a guide. Write in the birth dates of the student and any siblings near the branch the parents names are recorded on. If the child is adopted, you might want to add the adoption date, too.

Add the names of cousins in the outer leaves of the branches where the aunts and uncles are written down.


During the Christmas season, use an evergreen tree for the tree. Children can be recorded on ornaments on the tree. Small copies of photos can be added if desired.


Be careful about listing female maiden names on a project that will be seen in public. Add them in when the project comes back home. Maiden names are used for verification in many instances.

Things You'll Need

  • Construction, scrapbook paper or poster board
  • Double-sided tape
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About the Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for various websites. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.