Family Life Cycle Collage Project

In the past, I shared a technology based project titled, “Family Life Cycle: Prezi Project“. The project required students to create a Prezi to introduce their assigned stage of the family life cycle. I totally used that project until I didn’t! Why? My students are unable to create Prezi’s on their iPads; they can only view them. Because of this little snafu, I’ve had my students create hand generated collages around their assigned family life cycle stage, using their iPads to research the information. When students were finished, they displayed them in order on my wall like a train, and I must admit they looked pretty darn impressive!


  • Show this YouTube clip and ask students what it’s all about.  Obviously, it’s an ad for Lowe’s but more importantly it illustrates the many stages that a family may experience as it develops.
  • Introduce students to Evelyn Duvall’s family development theory, otherwise known as the family life cycle.  The family life cycle represents processes and experiences that are typical to most developing families.  Within each stage there are tasks, rewards and challenges.


  • iPads or Laptops
  • Poster Paper & Markers


  • There are many versions of the family life cycle stages in how they are grouped.  I like to use the version that has 8 stages.
  • This project can be completed individually by students or in small groups…it just depends on your class size.  I usually do partners and I simply have them count off by 8’s and select a stage out of a basket.  We go over the guide sheet (see attachments) and I give them some class time to look up their information using classroom and internet resources and begin their collages  This way I can help get them started and answer any questions they may have.  Here are the stages and descriptions:
  • Stages and Developmental Tasks in the Family Life Cycle
    • Beginning Family: The married couple establishes their home but do not yet have children. Developmental Tasks: Establishing a satisfying home and marriage relationship and preparing for childbirth.
    • Childbearing Family: From the birth of the first child until that child is 2 1/2 years old. Developmental Tasks: Adjusting to increased family size; caring for an infant; providing a positive developmental environment.
    • Family with Preschoolers: When the oldest child is between the ages of 2 1/2 and 6. Developmental Tasks: Satisfying the needs and interests of preschool children; coping with demands on energy and attention with less privacy at home.
    • Family with School Children: When the oldest child is between the ages of 6 and 13. Developmental Tasks: Promoting educational achievement and fitting in with the community of families with school-age children.
    • Family with Teenagers: When the oldest child is between the ages of 13 and 20. Developmental Tasks: Allowing and helping children to become more independent; coping with their independence; developing new interests beyond child care.
    • Launching Center: From the time the oldest child leaves the family for independent adult life till the time the last child leaves. Developmental Tasks: Releasing young adults and accepting new ways of relating to them; maintaining a supportive home base; adapting to new living circumstances.
    • Empty Nest: From the time the children are gone till the marital couple retires from employment. Developmental Tasks: Renewing and redefining the marriage relationship; maintaining ties with children and their families; preparing for retirement years.
    • Aging Family: From retirement till the death of the surviving marriage partner. Developmental Tasks: Adjusting to retirement; coping with the death of the marriage partner and life alone.
  • Students present their collages in order of the family life cycle stage and then hang them in order on the wall.
  • Students reference the collages as needed whenever we are working on anything involving the stages of the family life cycle.


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