A Family is a Family is a Family

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a family is a family is a family

Best suited to:

K – Year 3

KLAs covered:

English, PDH (families)

Learning:

  • what is a family?
  • how are families the same?
  • how are families different?
  • what kinds of things to families do together?
  • what makes my family special?
  • how do the people in families show they love each other?

Need to know:

  • prompts children to think about what a family is and to describe the characteristics of families;
  • helps children understand that families are different but all families are special and OK;
  • shows diverse families: two mums, two dads, a parent in a wheelchair, culturally-diverse families, parents living apart, blended families, a foster family;

Discussion Questions (before reading):

  • how many children are on the front cover of the book?
  • what do you think the title means?
  • are families all the same?
  • what makes a family?

Discussion Questions (after reading):

  • what was the book about?
  • why do you think the author wanted to write this book? What do you think is the message she wants to tell us?
  • read the last page again and invite the children to examine the illustration. What is a ‘foster mum’? What did the lady in the park mean when she asked about the foster mum’s ‘real children’? Why did the little girl’s foster mum reply the way she did?
  • what makes your family special?
  • what do you love most about your family?
  • how is your family like other families?
  • how is your family different?
  • do you have a different idea of what a family is now that you have read this book?

Activities:

K – Year 3 (whole class)

Choose a double-page spread for closer study.

Explore the questions:

  • who are the characters in this scene?
  • what is the setting?
  • what do the words tell us about this family?
  • what do the illustrations tell us?
  • do you need both to tell the story?
  • how do the words and illustrations work together to communicate the main message of the book?

K – Year 3 (whole class)

Examine the illustrations of some of the families in the book:

  • who is in the family?
  • what are they doing together?
  • who in our class has done the same activity with their own family?
  • do you need to be a certain kind of family to do this together? Why or why not?

K – Year 3 (individual)

Create a class version of A Family is a Family is a Family:

  • children compose a sentence or two describing what makes their family special and illustrate with a drawing showing their family doing something they love;
  • use the finished pages to create a customised edition of the book for your class;
  • read the book as a class, with each child reading their own page;

Years 2 – 3 (pairs)

  • children interview each other about their families;
  • they ask questions about their partner’s family, clarify details they don’t understand and record their findings;
  • prompt children to ask their partners about what makes their families special;
  • students tell the class about their partner’s family, including fun and interesting facts that show how that family is special;

Year 3 (small groups)

Assign a double-page spread to each group for closer study.

In their groups, children explore the questions:

  • who are the characters in this scene?
  • what is the setting?
  • what do the words tell us about this family?
  • what do the illustrations tell us?
  • do you need both to tell the story?
  • how do the words and illustrations work together to communicate the main message of the book?
  • groups present their ideas to the class.

Year 3 (individual)

Children choose one of the families shown in the book and write and illustrate a story about a new adventure for the family.

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