Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Social Studies
- Construction paper
- Comparing information
- Recognizing differences and similarities
- Knowledge of families and relationships
Read stories that involve the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the children in your class. Read literature that depicts the different family configurations of your children as well. Write on the board Family and have an open discussion. What does the word family mean to the children in your group?
Discuss the many different kinds of families and family life depicted in the stories. Tell children about your own family. Bring some of your photographs in to share with children.
Invite children to talk about their family members. Discuss how families differ or change, but also how some things stay the same. Family members all take care of each other. Talk about how some family members live in the same house as you, while others live in different houses. Talk with children about family needs such as shelter, food, and clothing.
Do a visual imaging activity with the children. Invite them to close their eyes and think about their houses. Ask them questions such as, "Can you see your front door?" "How many windows are in the front of your house?" "Are there steps or stairs leading to your door?" Then invite the children to draw a large picture of their own house.
Provide a second sheet of construction paper. Ask children to fold it in half and draw the people who live in their house inside the paper. Invite children to label family members or to dictate the information to you.
Glue one half of the folded family portrait on the back side of their house picture. When they lift up their house, their families are inside.
Remember: Always accept children's pictures without asking for work that may be developmentally beyond them. Activities should be modified for children who do not have particular family members-for example, substituting "person who takes care of me" for a parent.
Send home a note explaining to parents that you have been learning about family needs. Then explain how to play a game called, "What does their home look like?" Ask what kind of home a bee, squirrel, fish, fireman, mouse, dog, or spaceman has. Encourage parents to come up with many different types of animal and people homes.
Curriculum Connection: GEOGRAPHY
In Our Neighborhood: Put up a simple map of your area or draw a simplified version. Insert a push pin and name tag at the place where each child's home is located. Around the map, put the pictures of the children's houses with their addresses printed underneath.
All Kinds of Families by Norma Simon
Now One Foot, Now the Other by Tomie dePaola
Who's In Your Family by Robert Skutch