People generally like to see how ancestors fit into the shape of their lives, and there are some easy and cool ways to illustrate this. A graphical genealogy or family tree is a simple and effective way to visually demonstrate family relationships. An old friend has a family tree that shows his family's connection to Britain's Queen Elizabeth.
Another method for bringing the past into the present (without the help of Michael J. Fox or a DeLorean) is to mount ancestor photos side by side with those of living relatives. They might not be 100 percent identical, but it can be startling to see how the trademark family nose, eyes or jawline are still alive and kicking today. Pepper the photos with info comparing similar interests or personality traits to further illustrate the blood bond.
Another way to bring the olden days into the "now" is to show cost comparisons of common items, like a Coca-Cola, car, newspaper or an acre of land. This will put the changing times into rapid perspective, especially for little kids. Or, feature information on the most popular movies and songs of then and now, as well as political information, such as president or dominant party.