Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Our Family
Lesson 2
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


This lesson will allow students to explore the family or household unit, of which they are an essential member, as a community. As a class, they will create a Family Album using all of the family pictures brought in by the students. This will allow them to see the number of people the class represents in the community.


Two Thirty-Five Minute Class Periods


The learner will:

  • describe the family unit as a community.
  • identify differences in families that make up the class.


  • Family or household pictures or drawings from home that show every member of the household
  • Books about families (see Bibliographical References)
  • A Berenstain Bears book by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Some suggestions are The Berenstain Bears and the Bully, The Berenstain Bears and the Green Eyed Monster, The Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food.)
  • Note to Parents/Guardians (Attachment One)
Handout 1
Note to Parents/Guardian

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Play or sing the Sesame Street song: "The People in Your Neighborhood."

Day One:

  • Read a Berenstain Bears book. (All of these books show family members with clear roles. See the materials list for specific suggestions). Talk about the different roles of each of the family members:
    1. Mama seems to be the sensible one who is in charge and helps solve problems.
    2. Papa goes along with what mama says, but sometimes is as naughty as the children.
    3. Brother gets into trouble sometimes.
    4. Sister is the baby of the family.
  • While reading the book, discuss the problem or conflict, and each family member's contribution to solving the problem.

  • Encourage the students to brainstorm roles of their family or household members. Start with the students' roles first. What do they do particularly well in their family? Are they the youngest or oldest? How do they contribute to the common good of the group? (Examples might include: following the house rules, taking care of their room, loving mom/dad/siblings.)


  • Ask the students to think about who it is in their family that solves arguments or conflicts. What special talent do they think that person has?

  • Bring each child to the point where they can tell about how each member of the family gives of their time, talents, or treasures to make the household a better place to live.

Day Two:

  • Allow each student to share his/her family or household picture and tell about the members. (Check that each student has a picture early in the day and allow those who did not bring one to create one prior to the sharing).

  • Give each student a large piece of paper on which to paste his/her family picture. S/he will write or dictate this sentence to be placed on the bottom of the page: "This is ___________'s family. The members from oldest to youngest are _____________________." · Staple the pages together to form a book and display it in the classroom library.


  • Teacher observation of the sharing activity.
  • The completed class book page.

School/Home Connection:

  • Interactive/Parent/Student Homework:

The Note to Parents/Guardian (see Attachment One) should be sent home after day one. If all the students are drawing pictures, this may be done as an in-class activity.

Bibliographical References:

  • Berenstain, Stan. The Berenstain Bears and the Bully. Random House, 1993. ISBN: 0679848053.
  • Berenstain, Stan. The Berenstain Bears and the Green-Eyed Monster. Random House, 1995. ISBN: 0679864342.
  • Berenstain, Stan. The Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd. Random House, 1989. ISBN: 039483013X.
  • Berenstain, Stan. The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food. Random House, 1985. ISBN: 0394872177.
  • DePaola, Tomie. Now One Foot, Now the Other. New York: Putnam Publication Group, 1991. ISBN: 0399224009.
  • Dooley, Norah. Everybody Cooks Rice. First Avenue Editions, 1992. ISBN: 0876145918.
  • Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. Silver Burdett & Ginn, 1993. ISBN: 0663562287.
  • Williams, Vera B. A Chair For My Mother. Greenwillow, 1984. ISBN: 0688040748.

Lesson Developed By:

Tiffany Jackson
Belding Area Schools
Ellis Elementary
Belding, MI 48809


Handout 1Print Handout 1

Note to Parents/Guardian

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Your child is being asked to bring in a picture of your family or household, either a photograph or one he or she drew, to be added to our classroom "Family Album". Please make sure that your child knows the names of the members in the household. If it is a photo, ask them to rehearse with you when this picture was taken and how old he/she was when the picture was taken.

Have your child rank the members from oldest to youngest. Discuss what each member in the household contributes and how important every member is to the family.

Your son/daughter should bring the picture back to school and be ready to share it with the class. The picture will be returned.

Thank you for your help with this project.

(Teacher's Name)

Philanthropy Framework:


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