This website gives a definition of different family types and the interactions that can occur within this family type. The teacher can use this as a resource to understand the different family types before asking the children to discuss their own family types. The teacher can ask the students to write about all the members in their family at home and what each family member does for the family. The students should start their writing by stating which family type they are a part of, for example a nuclear family. Once the students have written about their family, the teacher will ask the students to come to the floor and they will create a class graph on the different family types in their class. With this they can discuss which family type is more popular in their class and which family type is the least popular. This activity will make students become aware of their own family type. Before doing this activity, as a teacher it is a good idea to be aware of the family circumstances of each student so you can ensure that you discuss what could be a difficult subject for some students. This can then be used as a lead up activity for mathematics task to discuss different graphs and to respond to the data that is show on the graph.
Learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship structures.
Melissa Newnham's insight:
This video created by Reconciliation Australia describes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders kinship and family structures. This can be a complex topic for children to understand. By watching this clip, it will give them a greater understanding about how family structure for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander could differ from a non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Before showing the students the video you would have to make the students aware of some words and the meaning of these words that they may not have heard before. This would include words such as kinship and hierarchy. Leave the list of these words and meanings on the board in a simple form when you show the video so that you can refer back to them. Show the students the video and pause it throughout to explain what the narrator has said. For example, when the narrator says, “it’s this connection to country that defines identity and brings families together.” After this you would pause the video and tell the students that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aren’t always connected by blood but rather by their connection to the land. You would then proceed to watch the video but you can stop the video before it shows the influences that Kinship have as you don’t want to the students to feel overwhelmed with so much information. Ask the students some questions after watching the video, such as, if you were part of an Aboriginal kinship what would you call your Cousins? You could also ask the students what they might call their Aunty. Watch the video for a second time to allow the students to process the information. Tell the students that there a many significant family members in a kinship group. Ask them to go back to their desks and write about a significant family member. Ask them for some examples of who they could talk about. For example, Mum, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Brother, Sister, Aunty and Uncle. Ask them to write about why they chose this relative, what they do with this relative and ask them to describe this relative. After giving the students adequate writing time. Come back to a sharing circle and ask students to read out what they have written. If you only get to ask a few students, remember to ask different students next time. A teacher can assess during this task, how well the student described a significant relative and their use of grammatical features.
Everything you need to know about International Day of Families
Melissa Newnham's insight:
The International Day of Families is celebrated on the 15th of May every year and promotes awareness of issues affecting families and aims to increase knowledge. The day includes workshops and conferences, radio and television programmes, newspaper articles and cultural programs. The theme for 2013 is Advancing Social Integration and Intergenerational Solidarity. This website can be used in the classroom to introduce students to the importance of family and the differences in families around the world. The important point to note to students from the website is that “every family life is different.” The students can do a think pair share and talk to the person next to them about some things they do with their family, for example, go to the park. The students can then research in pairs, the different roles a family might have to do in the day in a different country. For example, a family in Uganda might have to spend their family time together to walk kilometres to get drinking water. The teacher should provide a country for each pair and a list of resources they can use to look for the answer. A literacy strategy can then be introduced by the students writing down three facts about what families might do together in the country they have been given by their teacher. In the NSW Quality Teaching Model the element ‘deep understanding’ states that students “demonstrate a profound and meaningful understanding of central ideas and the relationships between and among those central ideas” (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2003, p. 11). This activity allows the students to create their own understanding about the different family types and how families can differ in relation to their own family. Therefore they are creating a relationship between the different ideas of family.
This video shows the different types of families through a photo slideshow to the song “We are Family.” These different types of families include single parent families nuclear families, sibling family and extended families. Show the students the video. Once they’ve watched the video through once ask them if they could remember who was in one of the photos, for example in the first family there was a mother and a daughter. Show the slideshow through again after each photo pause the video and talk to the students about what type of family they are called and what family members are involved. This activity will make the students aware of the different family types and the names of these different family types. Ask the students to go back to their desks and give them a sheet of A3 paper divided into four. In top of each square will be the heading of a family type. Ask the students to draw a picture of the family type below and label each family member. For example, under the box single parent family they will draw a mother and a daughter and label the family member. The teacher can assess the students ability to remember the different family members in each different family type.
Read the picture book story, 'Just Like a Baby,' on KOL Jr.
Melissa Newnham's insight:
The picture book “just like a baby,” introduces students to the different family members that live in a house. In this family it is an extended family, where the Mother, Father, Grandmother, Grandfather, Brother, Sister and Baby live in the one house. Ask the students to tell you one family member that lives in the house with them and create a class list. Then show the picture book to the students. Ask them if there were any family members that were in the story that we hadn’t written down on the board. Add any extra family members to this list. Discuss what each family member did in the book for the babies cradle. Ask the students to write about what one member of the family did for the baby and ask them to use describing words. Write some sentence starters on the board. For example, the Grandmother created a …….. Ask them to describe what the character looks like and what they did and how they may have felt about the new baby coming into the family. After the students have finished, ask them to sit on the floor and tell you what character they wrote about and what adjectives they used to describe them. Constructivist pedagogical approaches must consider the “larger social climate in order to develop in a manner that is culturally relevant and socially just” (Richardson, 1997, p. 16). A constructivist approach to student learning emphasises the intrapersonal dimensions of learning, positing that knowledge is not transmitted from one knower to another through direct teaching, but is built up by the learner through their personal interactions with physical events in their daily lives. By doing this activity, the students can create links between the resource and their own lives as they think about their own family members and how they could differ from the family members in the online picture book.
Reference: Richardson, V. (1997). Constructivist Teacher Education: Building a World of New Understandings. London, UK: The Falmer Press.
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