A Little Thing That Changes EVERYTHING! (Revised)

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Human Services

    Course : Child Development

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student analyzes roles and responsibilities of parenting. The student is expected to:
      • (A) investigate parenting skills and responsibilities, including child support and other legal rights and responsibilities that come with parenthood
    • (2) The student investigates components of optimal care and development. The student is expected to:
      • (D) analyze reasons for medical care and good health practices prior to and during pregnancy
    • (3) The student investigates strategies for optimizing the development of infants of diverse backgrounds, including those with special needs. The student is expected to:
      • (C) draw conclusions regarding the impact of the infant on the family in areas such as roles, finances, responsibilities and relationships
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • analyze parenting skills and responsibilities
    • explore the connection between the mother’s health and the baby’s health
    • investigate health risks to babies due to environmental and hereditary factors
    • discuss options of optimizing the development of special needs children
  • Rationale


    Becoming parents for the first time can be an emotional roller coaster ride. What does it mean to be a parent? What are parenting responsibilities? There are many challenges and rewards to parenthood. In preparation for careers related to the care and education of children, this lesson will provide an excellent opportunity for you to study the areas of parenting skills and responsibilities.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Four 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Child support: Court-ordered payments, typically made by a noncustodial parent, to support one’s minor child or children, may also be entered into voluntarily, depending on each states laws

    Congenital disorder: A physical or biochemical problem in a baby that is present at birth. It may be inherited or caused by environmental factors

    Cystic Fibrosis: A congenital disorder in which a chemical failure affects lungs and pancreas. Thick, sticky mucus forms in the lungs, causing breathing problems

    Environmental factors: A persons surroundings contributing to a particular result or situation

    Genetic factors: Traits passed through the genes. These factors affect all stages of growth and development

    Indirect costs: Dollar amounts that are not directly accountable to a particular project, facility, function, product or person

    Low birth weight: Weight of a live born infant being less than 5 pounds 8 ounces regardless of gestational age

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for multimedia presentation
    • computer lab with Internet for research

    Note: If individual equipment is not available, teacher can teach the assignments as a class from a projected copy as long as students can see the screen.


    • props which symbolize having a baby such as:
      • baby bottles
      • baby clothes
      • baby food
      • infant car seat
      • maternity clothes
      • play money
      • write words like medicine, obstetrician, pediatrician, special needs child and relationships on individual pieces of paper

    Other appropriate lessons

    Preparing for Parenthood: Pregnancy and Labor
    Child Development

    The Balancing Act: Parenting Responsibilities
    Child Development

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Become familiar with the PowerPoint™, handouts and activities.

    Display as many of the lesson-related supplies (see Materials or Specialized Equipment Needed) as you have available on a table in front of the room.

    Before class begins:

    Prior to beginning this lesson, ask students to explore the responsibilities, challenges and rewards of parenthood. Individually, students will conduct a word chain activity. Distribute the Word Chain Activity (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Review the instructions with the students. An example has been provided for you. The topic is “The Responsibilities, Challenges and Rewards of Parenthood.” Allow the students time to complete the activity and share their words. Assign a scribe to write the words on the board.

    Possible questions for discussion:

    • What are the needs of a newborn?
    • How can a married couple prepare for the birth of their newborn?
    • What resources are available to parents of a special needs child?
    • Why is prenatal care so important?
    • How is child support enforced and what are the laws for receiving child support?
    • How do finances factor as a bases for deciding to have a baby?
    • When is a good time to have a baby?
  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce objectives, terms, and definitions.

    Distribute the graphic organizer Note-taking A Little Thing that Changes EVERYTHING! handout (see All Lesson Attachments tab) . Students will include subtopics and detailed information on their notes.

    Introduce slide presentation A Little Thing That Changes EVERYTHING! PowerPoint™ (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Use the appropriate notes from Presentation Notes for A Little Thing That Changes EVERYTHING! (see All Lesson Attachments tab) for discussion.

    Discuss the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support program. See https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cs/about-the-child-support-program for the most current information on the rights and responsibilities of parents.

    Videos included in the slide presentation:

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • providing instructor or peer assistance with note taking
    • providing instructor or peer check for understanding

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Computer lab:

    Distribute the Safety Precautions During Pregnancy (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Having access to the Internet, students may research the information at
    http://americanpregnancy.org/is-it-safe/ or other reliable sources.

    Teacher note: You may opt to divide the class into groups and assign each group a section from the handout to research. Each group will share their information with the class and students can complete the handout.

    Allow students time to share their information.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allowing extra time for assignments
    • instructor or peer check for understanding

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Scenario: You have recently been hired as a counselor at a pregnancy wellness clinic.

    Students will work in groups to develop a three-minute public service announcement (PSA) that will inform new parents of parenting responsibilities and how a baby will change their lives. Distribute the Three-Minute Public Service Announcement (PSA) (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Topics can include:

    • cognitive development
    • congenial birth defects
    • educating new parents-to-be
    • child guidance
    • effective parenting
    • environmental hazards on the unborn baby
    • financial responsibilities
    • health and safety responsibilities
    • legal and moral responsibilities
    • prenatal care
    • preparing for parenthood
    • roles and responsibilities of family members
    • social and emotional development
    • Other: ______________ approved by teacher

    Instruct student to be creative in developing a unique public service announcement. Students will present their PSA to the class upon completion during Lesson Closure. PSA may be performed as a skit, video taped or developed in a song.

    Distribute the Rubric for Three-Minute Public Service Announcement (PSA) (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and review with students so they may understand what is expected.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • shortening instructions
    • providing extra time for assignments

  • Lesson Closure

    Review objectives, terms and definitions.

    Presentation of three-minute public service announcement by students.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Assessment by Rubric for Three-Minute Public Service Announcement (PSA).

    Using the information gathered in the three-minute public service announcement, students will write a one-page written reflection analyzing their PSA. Students will reflect on how this activity and information obtained from all the three-minute PSAs will assist them in future. The reflection may be submitted for assessment.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • providing extra time for completing assignment
    • working with peer tutor

  • References/Resources


    • Microsoft Clip Art: Used with permission from Microsoft™.
    • Photos obtained through a license with Shutterstock.com™.


    • Decker, Celia. Child development; early stages through age 12. 7th. Tinley Park, IL: Goodheart-Willcox, 2011.


    • American Pregnancy Association
      The American Pregnancy Association is a national health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, research, advocacy, and community awareness.
    • Any Baby Can
      Since 1982, Any Baby Can has been a compass for families in need. Providing direction and guidance for families of children with special needs is at the heart of this organization. The impact the birth of a child with special needs has on the family is immense. Instantly, the family’s dreams are altered and their lives are changed forever. The stress has the potential to tear even the strongest families apart.
    • Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott
      As the official child support enforcement agency for the State of Texas, the Office of the Attorney General provides services for parents who wish to obtain or provide support for their children. Includes rights and responsibilities of parents.


  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • students will develop a graphic organizer depicting the impact of pregnancy on the mother, father, baby and society after viewing the PowerPoint™ presentation.
    • word wall
    • visual supports
    • allow extra processing time
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website http://www.achievetexas.org/index.html provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    • Recent research indicates that men are taking more active roles in parenting. What are some of the challenges of men in parenting roles?
    • Investigate how society influences parenting roles and responsibilities. Give specific examples in relation to the media, religion, education, families and friends. Select one of the examples and explain why it has an effect on parenting roles and responsibilities.
    • Develop a video that will educate others of the impact of good prenatal care during pregnancy. Include suggestions for other parents-to-be to avoid environmental hazards during pregnancy. The video can be shown on the school foyer marquee before and after school each day for a week.
    • Choose a health condition that might exist before pregnancy and research what affect the condition might have on the unborn baby or pregnant woman.
    • Students can view “For Our Children: Learning to Work Together” video. It is about 23 minutes long.

    TED Talks:

    TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.

    The video below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the video, and lead a discussion concerning the TEDTalk.

    Nadine Burke Harris: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime
    Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain.

    Math Assessment Problem

    (1) The student analyzes roles and responsibilities of parenting. The student is expected to:

    • (A) investigate parenting skills and responsibilities, including child support and other legal rights and responsibilities that come with parenthood.

    Question 1. Noah makes $2,800 a month. He is court-ordered to give 35% of his paycheck each month as child support. If he keeps the same job for 18 years with no raise, how much total will he pay in child support over 18 years?
    a. $ 11,760
    b. $ 17,640
    c. $164,260
    d. $211,680

  • Family/Community Connection

    • Using the handout Parent Interview (see All Lesson Attachments tab), interview a parent to understand how parenthood affected his or her life. After the interview, student will write a one-page personal reflection on what he or she learned from this interview and how he or she plan to use the information now and in the future.
    • Invite a local couple to speak about becoming a first time parent. Students can gain a perspective on the benefits of good prenatal care and the responsibilities of parenthood.
    • Invite a doctor to speak on the health and emotional aspects of pregnancy.
  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    FCCLA http://texasfccla.org

    National Programs

    FCCLA Family First Project –

    The FCCLA Families First national peer education program through which youth gain a better understanding of how families work and learn skills to become strong family members. Its goals are to: help youth become strong family members and leaders for today and tomorrow and strengthen the family as the basic unit of society. To help members focus their projects, Families First offers five units. Members may complete projects in one or several units. There is no particular order to them; although, “Families Today” might be a good place to start. It covers topics that provide a general overview of families and related issues:
    Families Today: Understand and celebrate families
    You-Me-Us: Strengthen family relationships
    Meet the Challenge: Overcome obstacles together
    Balancing Family and Career: Manage multiple responsibilities
    Parent Practice: Learn to nurture children.

  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see

    Conduct a gently used baby/children’s clothing drive and donate the clothing to a local homeless shelter.

  • All Attachments