Let your students share stories about their own unique families with an underlying theme of all families, whether traditional or not, as loving and caring ensembles.
- Recall and describe a family memory
- Collect an object that represents a family memory
- Draw and write about a family memory
- A memory object from a shared class experience, like a field trip
- A family memory object from your home
- Brown paper lunch bags, one for each student plus one for you
- Brown Paper Bag Family Memories: Letter to Families printable
- Class Family Memory Book: Family Memory Page printable
- Book about memories (I like to use Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox)
- Chart paper
- Optional: Class Family Memory Book: Family Feedback Page printable
- Find an object from a shared class experience, like a field trip. This will be the first memory object you share with the class.
- Choose an object to be your "family memory" to share with the class. Put the object in a brown lunch bag.
- Write students' names on the rest of the brown lunch pages.
- Make a class set of the Brown Paper Bag Family Memories: Letter to Families printable and the Class Family Memory Book: Family Memory Page printable.
- Staple a copy of the Brown Paper Bag Family Memories: Letter to Families to each brown paper bag that will go home with students.
- Complete a sample Class Family Memory Book: Family Memory Page for the class book. Draw and write about your family memory object.
- Set up a sheet of chart paper and a marker for the class discussion on Day 1.
- Optional: Make copies of the Class Family Memory Book: Family Feedback Page printable if you will allow students to "check out" the Class Family Memory Book.
Before Day 3
- Line up the brown paper bags with students' names facing out.
Before Day 4
- Bind the completed student Class Family Memory Book: Family Memory Pages together into a book.
Step 1: Gather students for a whole group discussion. Write the word "memory" in big letters on a sheet of chart paper and ask students if they know the word. Sound out the word and describe how a "memory" is something we remember that we did. Think of a collective class experience — like a field trip — and share an object that represents that experience. Ask volunteers to share about that "memory."
Step 2: Read Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge or another book about memories. Tell students that while they are listening, they should look for the memories that Miss Nancy has. After the reading, review and chart the objects that Wilfred gave to Miss Nancy and what memories the objects helped her remember.
Step 3: Show students the lunch bag with your family memory object. Tell students that it is not an ordinary brown paper bag; inside there's something special. Ask students to guess what it is. If no one guesses, tell them it's a "family memory." Take the object out and model telling about the memory.
Step 4: Tell students that it's their turn to collect family memories. Call out the children's names and have them collect their bags. When everyone has their bag, tell them that there's a letter attached for their families. Remind students that you had only one object in your bag and invite them to bring one object from home that will remind them of a family memory, like a trip, place they went, or event they did together. Suggest an object like a postcard, shell, souvenir, or any other small object.
Step 5: Read the Brown Paper Bag Family Memories: Letter to Families so students know what to bring.
Step 1: Wait until all students have brought back their bags. Gather them together as a class (or in small groups during center time) and have students share their memory objects one at a time. Prompt students as needed to extend their use of oral language. You may want to allow questions from other students.
Step 2: Collect the brown paper bags at the end and thank students for sharing.
Step 1: Gather students together near the brown paper bags. Tell students that sometimes we can't tell our story to everyone, so we write down our memories. This way other people can read about them. Share that you will be taking all the memories they've collected and crafting a Class Family Memory Book. Tell them this is a good way for them to learn more about each other.
Step 2: Remind students of your memory and object. Share your example Class Family Memory Book: Family Memory Page.
Step 3: Invite students to come up and find their brown paper bag and take a copy of the Class Family Memory Book: Family Memory Page. They should go back to their seats and independently draw or write about their memory and their memory object.
Step 4: When students are finished, bring everyone back together and invite a few students to share what they have drawn and written.
Step 5: Collect all of the Class Family Memory Book: Family Memory Pages at the end of class.
Step 1: During story time, tell students you have a wonderful new book about memories from your favorite authors to share with them. As you turn each page, allow students to "read" their pages aloud to the class.
Step 2: After reading the whole book, tell students that you will put the book in the class library so others can read about their family memories.
Optional: If you want students to take the Class Family Memory Book home to share with their families, explain the process of checking out the book and filling out the Class Family Memory Book: Family Feedback Page at home.
Supporting All Learners
- During oral presentations, use a microphone with students who have difficulty being heard.
- For those children who need it, take dictation after they've attempted to write about their memories.
- Provide extra paper and a stapler for those children who want to write more.
Make an Artifact Museum with the objects students brought in to share. Help students make small museum label cards for their items, including the name of the object, the location of origin, and the student's name.
Check out the Class Family Memory Book to each student during the next few weeks. Provide a Class Family Memory Book: Family Feedback Page for each student to take home.
- Collect an object that represents a family memory
- Write and draw a page about a family memory
- Create a Class Family Memory Book
- Did students understand what a memory is?
- Were they able to relate their object to a memory?
- Were they able to incorporate the memory into their drawing and writing?
- Were they engaged and on task the entire time?
- How might you do this lesson differently next time?
- Observe oral presentations.
- Assess fine motor skills and literacy development through students' drawing and writing.