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A lesson plan involving making family diagrams


Social Studies  


1, 2  

Emily Winham


Grade levels: first/ second

Length: one hour

Performance Expectation:

The students will make a picture diagram of his or her family.


colored construction paper 17in by 11in cut lengthwise 17in by 5 1/2in

copy paper cut in different lengths (stated later in lesson)


drawing materials (crayons, markers, colored pencils)


hole punch



1. Read Families by Meredith Tax, Marylin Hafner (Illustrator) ISBN: 1558611576

2. Lead a discussion about different kinds of families.


1. Give each child a piece of construction paper 17in by 5 ½ (half of a big construction paper). If a child has more than five members in their family they will need two.

2. Pass around six ziploc bags with paper already cut in different sizes to represent different ages. The bags should be labeled with the ages.

The sizes are as follows

all have a width of about 7 cm.

(or a piece of copy paper folded three times lengthwise)

age cm

adult 16

11-17 14

8-10 12

5-7 10

2-4 8

baby 6

3. After they have a piece of paper that will represent a family member, have them write softly on the back the name of the person so they won’t forget which paper goes with which family member.

4. Have the students draw a picture of each family member and put their name on the paper.

5. Have the students write their last name on the long piece of paper. Let them be creative.

6. Attach the family members under the last name with holes with a hole punch and yarn.


Ask volunteers to share their work and tell about their families.

Assessment: Check to see if the student has included all their family members and they are about the right length.

Adaptation/Consideration: If a child doesn’t feel comfortable with their writing skills they may need special encouragement. Students may not know who to include in their picture if there are other things in the picture such as divorce, step families, grandparents raising their grandchild, etc. I would encourage the children to include who they consider their family. In a case where the children’s parents are divorced you could encourage the student to make one now and make another later. That way they wouldn’t have to leave anyone out.


Winham, E. (1997)

Tax, M. (1996) Families. New York: Feminist Pr.

C. A. Stewart, personal communication, 1985 (inspiration by a sign my mother bought that was similar to the activity)

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