Screen_shot_2011-11-13_at_2.03.21_PM.png FAMILY
image retrieved from Google Images
image retrieved from Google Images

Guiding Questions:
How are families important?
What are traditions?
What part do families play in shaping our identity?
In what ways are family members unique and different?


Families play a significant role in shaping the personality and self-image of every child in a family. The family environment influences how children thrive and mature. The strengths children develop, successes they experience, challenges they endure, traditions they celebrate, and exposures they receive contribute to a child’s inner identity.


This lesson will invite children to think about and describe their own family experiences and traditions, and through these group discussions, to realize and appreciate the ways families are unique, different, and very special.


- Read aloud All Families Are Special to the class. Have a short group discussion. Read the introduction of Family Pictures to the class.
- Together in small group of 3-4 students and using Family Pictures and In My Family, students will read the various passages and contribute their opinions to the reflecting family questions. By doing so, students will brainstorm some traditions, routines, passions, experiences, quotes or phrases that may occur in a family. Students should be instructed as to the sensitivity of this activity and reminded that all families are unique and special.

- Go to Reflecting Family Questions google doc or use large chart paper if computers are unavailable for the various passages from Family Pictures and In My Family/En Mi Familia so students may collaborate and list their ideas.

- After all groups have had an opportunity to contribute to each passage, students can reflect upon the list created by the class. Students will notice the diversity of answers and generate at least two ways their own family plays in shaping their unique and special identity while respecting each other’s differences.

Extension Activities:
- Students can interview family members with their own questions or choose from 50 Questions For Family History Interviews.
- Students can create a family tree by going to Free Family Tree Charts.
- Students can create their own "Family Pictures" book


Garza, Carmen Lomas. (1990, 2005) Family Pictures. San Francisco, California: Children’s Book Press

Garza, Carmen Lomas. (1996) In My Family / En Mi Familia. San Francisco, California: Children’s Book Press

Kuskin, Karla. (2000) I Am Me. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Medhus, MD, Elisa. (2001) The Importance of a Strong Family Identity. Retrieved from:

Powell, Kimberly. (2011) Fifty Questions For Family History Interviews, What To Ask Relatives. Retrieved from

Powell, Kimberly. (2011) Free Family Tree Charts. Retrieved from

Simon, Norma. (2003) All Families Are Special. Chicago, Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company

Skutch, Robert. (1995) Who’s In A Family? New York: Random House