Families in Crisis

Teaching about families in crisis can be difficult especially when you don’t always know what’s going on in the home lives Gracies.Choice.000of your students.  However, it is important to discuss because every family, at one time or another, will face one or more at some point in their lives.  No one is immune. This lesson and video case study is just one of many that could be used in the classroom.  I like it because it is a way for students to apply all of the information learned about families as well as explore some crisis themes in more depth.

Teacher Note:  This lesson is taught after the family structure and functions concepts found here are covered. I know some schools have policies regarding the use of movies in the classroom so please check before using.  I don’t make a habit of showing a lot of movies but I believe this is a way to talk about difficult situations within the family.  Guidance counselors can be a great resource if something does come up personally for students.


  • Bell Ringer (See PPT):  Can a family change?  If yes, what factors may cause the change? Discuss responses and add…All families can/do experience change in some way.  For example:
    1. People move in and out of families all the time because of the natural life cycle.
    2. Challenging situations and events can cause family change as well. They may cause us to feel overwhelmed, confused, scared, out of control and angry.

    Illustration activity:  Close your eyes and stand on one leg.  How do you feel?  Do you feel in control?  Sometimes when things happen we feel out of control and feel helpless.  Just like when a storm, fire or earthquake occurs. When we experience these examples, we are experiencing challenges or CRISES


  • Projector & Screen
  • Envelopes
  • Gracie’s Choice DVD
  • Laptops (optional)
  • Poster Supplies & Magazines


  • Ask student to define CRISES and include two examples?  Ask students for their definition first.  What are examples
  • Use the PPT to take notes on the definition, the events demoralization, deprivation and organizational change, and other crisis notes.
  • Ask if all challenging situations will turn into a crisis or if a crisis can change us and discuss their responses before continuing with the PPT.
  • Complete the Name that Crisis Event activity and go over the answers.
  • Discuss the story of the Three Little Pigs and the analogy to the family concepts as a lead in to the Gracie’s Choice DVD case study.
  • After viewing and completing the video guide, introduce the Collage Poster Project for the movie having students choose a crisis theme from the story to further explore and tie to the movie.


Gracie’s Choice

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