4: All Families Are Different, Yet the Same
a “Celebrations Chart,” and the construction of a
“Class Celebrations Book,” children will be exposed
to a variety of cultural traditions. Students will recognize the
similarities and differences between their own family and those
of others around them or those portrayed in the books being read.
They will reflect on the traditions of others as they respond
to a writing prompt.
Suggested time allowance:
3 class periods
Unifying Theme: (based on the National Council for the Social Studies)
Individual Development and Cultural Identity
New York State Social Studies Framework
Social Studies Standard 1: History of the United States and New York
Key Ideas and Conceptual Understandings
1.1 Language, beliefs, customs, and traditions help shape the identity and culture of a family and a community.
1.1b People and families of diverse racial, religious, national, and ethnic groups share their beliefs, customs, and traditions to create a multicultural community.
1.1c Awareness of America’s rich diversity fosters intercultural understanding.
Social Studies Practices:
Chronological Reasoning and Causation
Retell a real-life family event in sequential order.
Recognize and identify patterns of continuity in his/her family.
Comparison and Contextualization
Describe an event in his/her family.
The Role of the Individual in Social and Political Participation
Demonstrate respect for the rights of others in discussions regardless of whether one agrees with the other viewpoint.
Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy
Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters
Make connections between self, text, and the world around them
(text, media, social interaction).
Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners
about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small
and larger groups.
Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details,
expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate
to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately
sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened,
use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense
With guidance and support from adults, recall information from
experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer
How are families both different
and the same?
for this lesson: (Recommended book is bold)
Kuklin, Susan. Families.
New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children,2006. Looks at how various
children identify themselves within their families.
Lionni, Leo. Frederick. New York, NY: Random House Children’s
Books, 1973. A story about Frederick the mouse who has a tradition
of gathering food before winter.
Morris, Ann. Light the
Candle, Bang the Drum. New York: Dutton Childrens' Books,
1997. Illustrations and brief text present various holidays celebrated
around the world, including New Year’s Day, Presidents’
Day, Easter, Ramadan, Diwali, Posadas, and Hanukkah.
Parr, Todd. The Family
Book. New York: Little Brown, 2003. A fictional story introducing
various types of families through literature and child friendly
Rylant, Cynthia. The
Relatives Came. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing
Group, 1985. A story about the joy of a family gathering.
All Kinds of Families. Chicago, Illinois: A. Whitman Publishing
Company, 1976. Explores what a family is and how families can
have different lifestyles.
Note to Teacher: Prior to lesson Send home the “Family Questionnaire” (included) and have it returned before Day 3. Read All Kinds of Families or any similar book that explores different kinds of families and talks about adoption.
1) Gather students together.
Introduce the lesson by telling the class that
just like each one of you is both different and the same, each
of our families
are both different and similar. Discuss that adopted children are completely part of any family
2) Have students brainstorm facts about their families. Chart student responses.
3) Distribute the graphic organizer, “Celebrating Differences.” (included) Have students write or draw a fact about their family in each box on the graphic organizer.
1) Have children walk around
room and have classmates sign their name to boxes that show or tell a fact
that is the same about their family.
1) Gather the students together
and share with the students the completed family questionnaires.
2) Model for children how
to interpret information from questionnaires. Use your own family
questionnaire as a model.
3) Read Light the Candle, Bang the Drum. Have children think, pair, share about their family’s celebrations. Introduce the word “tradition,” and ask the students if their family has any traditions as they have family celebrations.
5) Have students describe their family celebrations. Chart family celebration on the poster. Remind students of Read-aloud from previous day. Chart the family in the story as well.
1) Review “Family
Celebrations” poster from previous day. Begin discussion
by asking children to find similarities and differences among
2) Model for the students
how to create a page for a class book based on their own celebration/tradition.
3) Each student will create
a page for the class book independently. Students will illustrate
and write a caption for their drawing. (see attached sample)
4) Gather students together
to share their pages for a class book. Teacher will model how
to share their page using a teacher made page as model.
5) Have students describe their family celebrations. Children will share
the page they created for the class book.
6) Place the completed
book in the class library.
After all students have
a chance to share their tradition/celebration, pair students and
give them the opportunity to “compliment” each other’s
tradition, using the "Celebrating
Daily teacher observation
Contribution to “Celebration Chart”
Completion of page for the Class Book
Sharing of Family Tradition/Holiday
Completion of “Celebrating
Differences ” worksheet
When parents bring a
child born to other parents into their families forever
same or similar
observing something in
a special way
beliefs, clothing, activities of a group of people
the usual way of doing
not the same
When two adults decide
to live separately and not be married anymore.
all people born and living
at about the same time
a day of celebration
a special way of doing
something that is handed down from generation to generation