Introducing Our Families
Children will delight in sharing and learning about their family members.
- Grades: PreK–K
- Develop social awareness and language skills
- Poster board or designated bulletin board area
- Drawing materials including paper, markers, crayons, glue sticks, and scissors
- Books about relatives including Brothers & Sisters by Ellen B. Senisi, When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba by Eileen Kurtis-Kleinman, Grandmother and I by Helen E. Buckley, In My Family (En mi familia) by Carmen Lomas Garza, and The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
Step 1: Collect several books about relatives to introduce the concept to your class. After each reading, engage children in a book talk. Encourage them to describe what the book was about and to recall the sequences of the book. Ask questions that will help them make connections between the story and their own lives.
Step 2: On your whiteboard or smartboard, write the question, "Who are our relatives?" Remind children that moms, dads, brothers, and sisters are our relatives because they are our family. Next, help them think of the names of other family members such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Record their responses.
Step 3: Read a book that highlights a child's special relationship with a family member, such as When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba by Eileen Kurtis-Kleinman. Engage children in a discussion about their favorite relatives. Record their responses. Provide children with the suggested art materials and ask them to create a drawing about their favorite relative.
Remember: Some children have not yet developed their language skills enough to be able to describe their family members. Talk with parents beforehand to get the names of some relatives that are close to their child.
Engage children in a discussion and create a language experience chart about what it means to be in a school family. How are they like a family? Record their responses. Then trace each child's body on a large sheet of brown paper and cut it out. Provide children with art materials including fabric, yarn, markers, or tempera paints to create full-size body portraits. Display them all together, joining hands, and include their language experience chart.
Send home a sheet of brown paper and invite each family to work together to create a family banner. Explain that the banner should depict something about their family. Tell them that they can include drawings, photographs, stickers, and pictures from magazines; write their names; or just decorate it with designs or collage materials. Invite each child to share his family banner with the class. Find an area in the room or hallway to display them.