Ideas For Teaching About the Family

I love teaching about the family, but finding interactive ways to teach the various concepts regarding the family can be challenging.  Ifamily.slide have spent a great deal of time over the years developing and creating a cache of ideas to pull from when teaching a lesson or unit on the family.  Below you will find some ideas that may be of help when trying to pull together a unit on the family.  If you have additional ideas for teaching about the family please share in the comment section.

Introducing the Family

  • Family or Not?  This activity can be done in a couple of different ways.  It all depends on your time frame, grade level and type of students you have.  The first way is to have students create a visual with magazine pictures of what represents a family and what is not and explain why for each under the photo.  Students share and discuss their visuals.  The second way is to print off the pictures (one per student) from the PPT below and have students randomly select one or assign one and have them do a Collins Writing Type I explaining why they believe their picture to be a family or not.  Share and discuss.  Final way to use this is to select 8 or 10 pictures from the PPT and show them to students and have them individually, on a whiteboard, decide for themselves with a brief explanation why they believe the picture to be a family or not.  Discuss and share as a class.  Note:  I had to shrink the pictures in the PPT so that the file was not so large…you may want to enlarge them before using.
  • Definition Visual:  Have students write their own definition of family and then go to Big Huge Labs and have students create a motivator poster using their definition of family.  What would really be neat is to have them use a photo of their own family if possible.  Share with the class and hang around the room.

Family Structures

  • Foldable Structures Notes:  Students create a six block foldable from copy paper and write the family structure headings and notes in each block to use as a reference.  Note:  There are many other family structures you could add to this PPT; I only cover the basics as I do this in junior high.
  • Review Card Game:  Give each group of 2-3 students an envelop with three different colored cards.  One color represents the family structure headings.  A second color is the description of each family structure. And the third color are examples that match the family structures.  Students match up the definitions/examples to the appropriate structure with or without notes (your call).  Go over  as a class to check for correctness.
  • Family Clothesline Activity:  This activity, shared by Patti Tubbs of Merryville, Indiana, has students identifying and sharing their own personal family structures via a clothesline.  This is a great way to discuss that no one family structure is better than another, they are just different ways to represent the uniqueness of families.

Family Functions

  • Basic Overview of Family Functions:  I like to go over this PPT of basic family functions and discuss that families often provide these basic functions to their members.  Some functions are voluntary, while others are mandatory.  I like to go through each function and ask students their opinion for each as to whether it’s voluntary or mandatory and then we discuss why along with various examples.  I leave the PPT on the screen while students complete the Cut & Paste assignment, but you could also have them take notes.
  • Cut & Paste Family Functions:  Cut apart the pictures representing examples of family functions and have students paste them into the correct box and label.

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