Kids love to talk about their families; of course they do! Families are the most important thing in our lives. A family is the community in which all of us grow and thrive. I like to begin this unit with some great books about families. Here are some of my favorites, with my affiliate link.
All of these books help children understand the similarities and differences of family life. I love all three of these for different reasons, but I love, LOVE, Families are Different because it talks about how all families are glued together with love.
I really like to send home this special homework piece that allows students to bring their family to school. Kids show these completed pages to the class (with giant smiles). After the page is shared, I hang the family sheets in the hallway for a time and then move the sheets to the students' portfolio. I am always amazed that on the days we look at portfolios, the family page is always the kid's favorite page. I have seen kids stop and rub the page. Others have given it kisses. Some even give it a big hug!
There are a lot of cute family songs. I have several original songs in my unit, one of them is called "My Family Tree."
I have found that kids really enjoy learning the sign language for family. The site Signing Savvy at https://www.signingsavvy.com is a great way to teach your children those meaningful signs.
Another song that is a lot of fun is "We Are Family" by Elf Kids Video. It is fun to take this song and make new versions that match each students' family dynamics.
This song, sung to the tune of Ten Little Indians is a great one.
Some have fathers, Some have mothers, some have sisters, some have brothers. In some houses, there are others. Every family is special.
Planning the Thematic Curriculum
The activities for my thematic unit on the family (as with all of my thematic units) begins with a planning sheet, as planning is the most important part of teaching. As the purpose of themes is to link learning across the curriculum, I am careful to plan for all of its aspects.
This family unit includes all of the materials included on the planning sheet and provides space for additional materials that I have available.
I organize my classroom by setting up a kitchen in my playhouse for some good old-fashioned family meals. I am sure to add cookbooks, keys, telephones, cameras, and all sorts of play dishes and play food.
The block center is a great location for some family blocks such as these, with an affiliate link. You simply can't go wrong with Melissa and Doug!
One of my favorite guided readers is included with this unit. You can grab it for free right here. It is the perfect reader for the mid-kindergarten year. It features the sight words: I, like, the, am. It also uses familiar family words and is strategic about using picture clues as a strategy to read for meaning.
Other Curriculum Areas
You can purchase the thematic unit The Family here at our Squarespace Store or at TPT.