An Activity Guide

Classroom Connections to Homegoing

 Students will use this activity to connect the plot of Homegoing with their own personal life. The purpose of this classroom activity is to connect the theme of family separation through slavery.

Supplies Needed

  • Model Magic, PlayDOH, or similar material
  • String
  • Beads
  • Paper and pencils if needed by students
  • scissors



  • Recalling family structures from Homegoing to understand family history on contemporary understanding
  • Mapping student family structures to understand their own family unit
  • Experiencing the connections and the effects of slavery on family units


Activity Description

  1. The students will begin the class period by freewriting.
    1. The students will use this time to reflect on what their family units look like in the present. The family units the students write about do not have to be biological.
    2. Afterwards, the students will break into pairs or small groups and discuss their family trees and what they represent to them. The values instilled in them based off their family structures.
    3. Once the students finish the discussion, they will talk about the family tree in
  2. The professor will hand out the clay, Model Magic, PlayDOH, or other similar material to each of the students
    1. Students will use the modeling clay to construct trees
      1. The trees will represent their family unit—related and chosen.
    2. Students will then tie beads to the tree branches with the string.
      1. The beads will be used to create “leaves.”
      2. The “leaves” will represent each member of their created family.
    3. Once the students complete their trees, they will use scissors to cut off two of the branches.
      1. The students will be asked to imagine what their family structure will look like if the two most important members are removed.
    4. Students will then break into pairs or small groups
      1. Students will discuss how Homegoing helped influence their decision.
      2. Students will discuss how their lives would be different if the members they chose were not apart of their growth.

Example: Would the students still be able to reach their goals/attend college?

Follow-Up Questions

Discussion questions will help the students reflect on their learning, experiences, and life connections through Homegoing. Discussion questions are an important element to conclude the experiential activity. The questions also help support the meaningful socio-emotional processing of the deep concepts Gyasi covers, and the curricular connections to your classroom.


  1. What does family mean to you?
  2. What does culture mean to you?
  3. What does the culture on Millersville’s campus look like?
  4. How does changing family structures affect the success of students/children?
  5. How do broken family units affect the dynamic of Millersville’s campus?