This lesson asks students to consider the impact of both family legacies and the broader sweep of history on their identities. As journalist Maria Hinojosa stated in the first lesson of this unit, we all have stories of how we got "here": individual stories, family stories. For better or for worse, we owe at least part of who we are to the choices our families and other important people in our lives have made, as well as the choices made by even older generations. These choices create for each of us a kind of legacy that influences our identities, our circumstances, and, in turn, the choices we make. Yet all of these choices, including the ones we make today, are made within a larger historical context. When we consider the legacies we have received from our individual families, we might also find personal connections to the history of our communities, our nation, and the world. Either way, this examination can bring us to a deeper understanding of who we are.
The exploration of legacies and personal connections to history in this lesson prepares students to think about the impact of history on the identity of a nation in the next lesson. The identity of a nation is certainly affected by the legacies of those who were part of that nation’s past; their choices, their collaborations, their conflicts all shape the identity of the nation in the present day.