Families Around the World
Teaching suggestions for Family e-bookPrint this Page
- Subject(s): Social Studies & Geography, Cross-Cultural Understanding
- Grade Level(s): 3–5, K–2
- Related Publication: E-book | Family
The concept of family and it importance in our lives is something that is shared by people of every culture. By looking more closely at photos and simple text describing the roles we each play in our families, students will gain an understanding of the similarities shared by families around the world.
- Welcome to My Family
Have students create their own family album using either photos or drawings. Be sure students label each family member. Within this album there can be pages identifying pets, maps showing the locations of family members, drawings or photos of family meals, or descriptions of the chores/jobs the children and adults do.
- Homes Around the World
Pick a country highlighted in the e-book. Share photos or drawings of traditional homes in that country. Show the typical floor plan of one of these homes. Discuss or show how some of the rooms (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.) may look different from what we typically see in the United States. In the corner of the classroom, recreate a type of room you might see in the country you selected.
- Building a House for Myself
Using small wooden blocks, play dough, clay or a shoebox, have students build a home for themselves. Students could also draw or design a floor plan. In pairs or small groups, have students give a quick tour. Discuss how in many cultures, homes may be very different from the homes we see in the United States.
- My Family Tree
Model how to cut a tree out of construction paper. This tree should have a trunk and a large green circle at the top. Using this background, have each student create their own family tree. Each of the child's immediate family members will be represented by a red apple. Have students write the names or paste the photos of family members onto the apples, then paste the apples onto the tree. Discuss how some of the trees may have fewer apples than others, just like some families are larger than others. Discuss the similarities between families, and emphasize the idea that each family is unique, no matter its size.
- How Many Are We?
Research and discuss the average size of families in one of the countries highlighted in the e-book. Compare and contrast this figure with the average size of the families in the United States. Conduct a class poll of the average size of their families. Create a bar, pie or line graph showing the poll results. Discuss how family size is often part of a country's culture.
- Family Interactions
Have each student pick two or three dolls, puppets, or stuffed animals—one to represent the student, and a few others to represent family members. They can also make paper dolls or puppets. Students pretend an alarm clock goes off, starting their day. Using their dolls, puppets, or stuffed animals, students act out the sequence of events and the role of each family member during their morning ritual. This can be expanded to other parts of the day, how they celebrate holidays in their family, or what they do to help their family. Discuss ideas such as:
- How is each family member's role important, including your own?
- How are the roles people play in your family similar to and different from other families? (e.g., many siblings in other countries take a more active role in childcare than in the United States)