Families in Children’s Books

Many years ago Carol Erwin, of Nebraska, shared an activity with me that gave students the chance to analyze the work of the family. Students enjoy reading  about different families in children’s books as they complete a series of prompts. It’s important for children to see how families interact and be able to recognize and relate to different family structures, stages of the family life cycle, and family functions. So if you have access to a variety of children’s books about families or a local library, you may want to grab some books and check this lesson out. NoteCarol has given me permission to share this assignment. I will include her version along with my adapted version.


  • You will want to be sure you have covered information about the family such as family structures, family life cycle, family functions, and strong family traits before assigning this activity.


  • A Variety of Children’s Books About a Family (one per student)
  • The books need to be long enough to really tell a story so you can see the interactions between family members.
  • Family Unit Notes


  • This assignment can be done individually if you have a small class or students can partner up if you have a larger class.
  • Students select a children’s book to read. After they have read through the book once, they see me for the assignment. This way they aren’t just looking for the answers and not actually reading the story.
  • As students read the story and analyze the prompts, they may have to refer to their notes in order to answer the questions correctly. This is a great way for them to review their materials and apply it in a meaningful way.


Related Lessons

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