Crisis and the Family

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Human Services

    Course : Interpersonal Studies

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (9) The student analyze types of needs and crises experienced by individuals and families. The student is expected to:
      • (C) identify resources and support systems that provide assistance to families in crisis
      • (D) assess management strategies and technology available to meet special needs of family members
      • (E) summarize laws and public policies related to the family
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • create a brochure to identify, describe and evaluate strategies to respond to different types of family crises
    • differentiate between types of family crises and ways to meet the needs of families
    • explain the effects of a crisis on individuals and families
    • develop a list of related family crisis resources available in the community
  • Rationale

    Special problems, such as divorce, family violence, death or addictions in the family, can strongly affect children. During very difficult family changes, children may experience developmental regressions. Each one of us has faced some type of crisis in our lifetime. In this lesson, we will learn to recognize when a situation actually becomes a crisis. We will find resources and strategies to help out in the time of a crisis. Knowing how a family crisis can affect individuals will help child caregivers handle special situations with families.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Three 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Addiction: A dependence on a particular substance or action

    Codependency: A set of unhealthy behaviors learned by family members to survive in a family with great emotional pain and stress

    Child Abuse: The abusive treatment of children comprising several forms such as neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse

    Crisis: A difficult or dangerous situation that needs serious attention

    Divorce: When a married couple legally dissolves their marriage

    Domestic Violence: Violence between family members or intimate friends

    Enabler: Someone who unknowingly acts in ways that contribute to an addict’s drug use or other addiction

    Intervention: Interference with the acts of others; the act of coming between

    Separation: In marriages, when one of the parents lives apart from the family

    Shelter: A safe place for those who experience physical violence or sexual abuse

    Violence: Physical force used to harm someone or something

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • computers with Internet access (be sure to follow district guidelines)
    • Smart Board


    • brochures from the counselor’s office pertaining to different types of family crises
    • construction paper
    • magazines
    • markers
    • paper
    • pen
    • pencil
    • prizes such as pens, pencils, stickers or candy

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

    Prior to lesson:

    Note to Teacher: More information on family crisis situations can be found in these courses/lessons:

    Principles of Human Services

    Family Crisis Management

    Counseling and Mental Health

    Love Shouldn’t Hurt

    Just Chill: Don’t Stress Out!

    Before class begins:

    Display brochures from resources or agencies that can assist with families in crisis.

    Lead the students in a discussion to determine different types of family crises through questions and answers. Ask students to come up with as many family crisis situations as they can think of. Write them down and display on Smart Board.

    What are some crisis situations which affect children and young people? Marriages? Older adults?
    Where can families find support in dealing with a crisis situation?

    Divide students into 4-6 groups. Distribute Crisis Support Services (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Explain that they will have ten minutes to find as many organizations as possible that can help with the crisis situations previously listed. They may use their phones or a computer. They are to write the crisis, the name of the organizations which provide support, phone number for each, website and resources available. The team who finds the most in the allotted time wins a prize.

    You may use the Online Stopwatch at to keep track of the time.

    Allow time for each team to read their answers and provide resources for each crisis.

    Allow for questions and answers. You may have a student scribe all the information and develop a master list of resources.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute graphic organizer Crisis and the Family Note-Taking (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes and complete the graphic organizer while viewing the slide presentation.

    Introduce the PowerPoint™ Crisis and the Family (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    View the short video included in the slide presentation:

    Does Your Relationship Need a Makeover?
    Check out this PSA play in movie theaters in California and Texas….loveisrespect

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

    • encouraging participation
    • allowing extra time to answer questions

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    In groups of two, assign students a crisis situation listed in the PowerPoint™ presentation. Distribute Dealing with a Crisis Brochure (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students are to make a brochure and present their information concerning their assigned crisis. Information to be included in the brochure:

    • cause and/or symptoms of the crisis
    • coping with the crisis
    • effects on family members
    • strategies to effectively manage the crisis
    • resources, laws and policies available to help cope with the crisis

    Have a due date and on that date students are to give a presentation on their topic. Their brochures can be completed either by hand using drawings or magazine clippings for pictures, or on a computer using the brochure maker and incorporating clip art.

    Distribute Rubric for Brochure and Presentation (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may understand what is expected.

    Distribute Hotlines and Online Resources (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout for students to use as a reference. They may also refer to the Crisis Support Services handout they developed during Anticipatory Set activity.

    Provide students time to complete their brochures. Provide guidance as needed. Allow students to proofread and edit each other’s work and practice the oral component of their projects before class presentations.

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

    • shortened assignment
    • repeated instructions
    • highlighted or outlined major points
    • extended time
    • written and oral instruction

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

    Students will work independently gathering information for their crisis topic.

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

    • assistance with finding information
    • positive reinforcement
    • checking for understanding

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Questions and answers:

    • What is a crisis?
    • What are some steps in overcoming a crisis?
    • How does a crisis affect children?
    • What are some causes of a crisis?
    • What are some strategies which may be ineffective or harmful in solving family problems?
  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Team presentations will be assessed with previously provided rubric and personal reflection assignment.

    Allow for class discussion immediately following each presentation.

    Students will each write a one page personal reflection on what they learned from this lesson and how they plan to use the information now and in the future. Encourage them to include skills that are necessary to enhance personal and career effectiveness in the career field of counseling and mental health services.

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

    • checking for understanding
    • shortened length of project and/or presentation
    • using positive reinforcement

  • References/Resources


    • Parnell Frances Baynor. (2001). Skills for personal and family living. (pp. 195-206). Tinley Park: The Goodheart-Willcox Publishing Company.
    • Sasse Connie. (2004). Families today. (4th ed., pp. 285-304). New York: McGraw Hill Glencoe.


    • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
      “The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.”
    • Suicide Hotlines
      Source: Texas Suicide and Crisis Hotline
      Crisis hotline available for individuals needing someone to talk to during times of crisis. Provides comforting words.


    • Does Your Relationship Need a Makeover?
      Check out this PSA play in movie theaters in California and Texas….loveisrespect
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • Make sure students understand the vocabulary (word wall) before moving forward with this lesson. They are to make flash cards using an index card with the word on one side and the definition on the other. It is important for all students, especially ELL’s, to have a firm foundation before moving forward. This is key to them following the entire lesson.
    • word wall
    • extra processing time
    • pre-teach vocabulary
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website 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

    • For reinforcement, the student will create a chart identifying substance related disorders and symptoms.
    • For enrichment, the student will research and develop charts and graphs depicting the cost of substance abuse to our society (for example, treatment costs and law enforcement costs).
    • Have students develop a list of related family crisis resources available in the community. Students may use a phone book and Internet to compile a list of hotlines, social services agencies and organizations, support groups, health care professionals, religious organizations and shelters.
    • Have students write a newspaper article about how to differentiate between the types of family crises and ways to meet the needs of families. The article will also include effects of a crisis on individuals and families.
  • Family/Community Connection

    • Have a guest speaker come to talk to class from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
    • Invite a panel of professionals from various social services agencies and organizations to discuss their services and careers.
    • Interview the school counselor to determine how the school district provides help for families in crisis.
  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    STAR Events:

    • Chapter Service Project
      (Display and Manual): A team event, recognizes chapters that develop and implement an in-depth service project that makes a worthwhile contribution to families, schools and communities. Students must use Family and Consumer Sciences content and skills to address and take action on a community need.
    • Advocacy
      An individual or team event, recognizes participants who demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and ability to actively identify a local, state, national or global concern, research the topic, identify a target audience and potential partnerships, form an action plan and advocate for the issue in an effort to positively affect a policy or law.
  • 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:

    • Hosting a blood drive with the Red Cross is a partnership. You offer a suitable location, recruit and schedule donors, and publicize the drive.
    • Students perform a canned food drive for a family in need
    • Students do a coat/blanket drive for homeless people during cold months
    • Students collect change to purchase items for a family in need

    The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) provides safety and prevention resources for families and professionals focusing on child abduction, child sexual exploitation and Internet safety. For additional information and resources, visit:

    • NetSmartz Workshop
      The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational safety resource for children ages 5 to 17. NetSmartz prepares children to behave responsibly when confronted with issues concerning Internet safety.
    • Child ID Workshop
      NCMEC recommends families have a Child ID kit prepared for each child in the event he or she is missing. One of the most important pieces of this kit is an up-to-date, good quality photo.
    • Natural Disaster and National Emergency Preparedness
      Safety tips for families in the event of a natural disaster or national emergency.
  • All Attachments