Learning about families is an important lesson plan for preschool because young children see the world through a very ego-centric lens. This isn’t being bratty or spoiled; it’s developmental. Children first see the world related to themselves and using the theme of families is a great way to teach various lessons that young children can relate to. Learning that families don’t all look just like theirs is a big step in how children understand diversity. Most children have families, some big, some very small. This preschool circle time lesson plan combines that along with a little math and writing too.
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The Family Book by Todd Parr or any family book that includes multiple forms of families.
Gather your materials. You will need to print out the families printables (print here), laminator or clear contact paper, and a dry erase marker. Print out the family sheets and laminate or cover with clear contact paper. Tape the laminated photos on the wall, easel, or whiteboard with painter’s tape. I added magnets to mine because I had a great big magnet board in my classroom. Do what works for your class.
If you have time to gather photos of all your preschool students’ families, try this with their family photos. If your class is too large to accommodate every family in one short but sweet circle time, use the printables for circle time and print out the family photos and use them as a free choice activity. Simply print them out with blank space on the paper below, laminate, and provide dry erase markers for students to write.
After reading the book, talk about how families come in all different forms. Some look just like the family we live with at home and some look very different. Students will likely offer up how big or small their family is. Allow them to share.
Ask the children if they will help you figure out how many people are in each family pictured on the wall. As a group, count the family members in each photo. Write the number on the page with dry erase marker. If your students are able (or even just eager) to write the number, invite them to come up and write the number.
If you are using the printables included or if your class family photos include diverse families be sure not to ignore the questions your students may have but give clear simple answers. “Yes, Hazel has two mommies, you have one”. There doesn’t have to be an in-depth conversation, the lesson is families are all different and all loving.
A version of this circle time activity and lesson plan can be found in our Families Thematic Mini-Unit. Check it and all the preschool thematic units we have for sale here.