15 May International Family Day

If like me, you like planning ahead, 15 May is International Family Day.  This gives us a great excuse to start or revise work on families. 

Apart from any linguistic objectives, another aim may be to establish that there are lots of different types of families and that all of them are valid.

Introducing Family vocabulary

As the idea of a nuclear family has changed a lot in recent years and there are many family setups, I usually start by teaching possible family members using a well-known family, e.g.  The Simpsons or Family Guy, as you can see all the family members including the dog, aunts, neighbours…  That way children know how to say all the possible members of a family without getting personal.

Check Google images for pictures like the following:

Getting more personal

Show the children photos of your family. Say: Here is my mum. Here is my dad.  Here is my brother. Here is my baby. etc.  You can introduce other family members if it is obvious from the pictures, i.e. Here is my husband/wife.  My baby’s daddy/mummy.  and point from your baby to your husband/wife, etc. Once you have finished, point to the different photos and repeat the family vocabulary.

Looking at the people who play an important part in the children’s daily lives

N.B. I am always aware that talking about their family can cause discomfort or distress for some children.  The following activity works very well but only if you know your class very well and know there hasn’t been a recent upset like a death or divorce.

I send home a piece of card with a note to parents asking them if they can help their child put together a collage of their family using photos.  You could suggest that this could be anyone or anything the children consider to be their family including their pet/s.  As International Family Day falls on a Saturday this year, I would ask the parents to send the collages in on Thursday to use them in class on Friday.  You can get the children to form a circle (to create a more family-like atmosphere) and the children take it in turns to introduce their family to their classmates using their collage, e.g. This is my mummy Maria and this is my dog Bruno.

To establish that there are lots of different types of families,  I teach the children the following chant about families.

Some Families

Some families are large. (Spread arms out wide)

Some families are small. (Bring arms close together)

But I love my family best of all! (Cross arms over chest)

You could also teach the children the following song:

 The People in Your Family

 Oh, who are the people in your family

In your family, in your family?

Oh, who are the people in your family,

The people that you love each day?

Oh, mummy is a person in your family,

In your family, in your family.

Oh, mummy is a person in your family,

A person that you love each day.

Oh, daddy… Oh, sister… Oh, brother… Oh, granny… Oh, grandad…

Sung to the tune of: People in your Neighbourhood from Sesame Street. See the Youtube link for 1 May International Workers’ Day.

The following activities are fun for very young children

The Family’s In the house

Sung to: “Farmer In The Dell”

Daddy’s in the house

Daddy’s in the house Ee-ai-adio

Daddy’s in the house

Mummy’s …

Brother’s …

Sister’s …

Granny’s …

Grandad’s …

Baby’s …

The dog’s …

The cat’s …

The hamster’s …

Acting out the song

Choose two children to come out and be the ‘house’, holding hands and lifting their arms to make the ‘roof’. As you sing the different verses, choose children to come out and be the different characters.  The different family members pass under the arms of the children playing the ‘house’ and form a group on the other side.

You could work on the story of the Three Bears to teach the family members mummy, daddy and baby.

Go to: http://www.sparklebox.co.uk/cll/fairy/bears.html to print off materials to tell the story.

You could watch the story on:

 or go to http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-stories-goldilocks.htm to watch and read the story. There’s a worksheet to print off for use after the story.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    exoherrerve said,

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Christian, iwspo.net

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