Today’s Families

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Human Services

    Course : Principles of Human Services

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (5) The student demonstrates the skills necessary to enhance personal and career effectiveness in family and community services. The student is expected to:
      • (A) identify the basic functions of the family, including roles and responsibilities
      • (B) investigate societal, cultural, demographic and economic factors affecting the responsibilities of family members
      • (C) analyze the multiple roles and responsibilities assumed by individuals within the family
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • recognize characteristics of the functions of families
    • describe societal, cultural, demographic and economic factors affecting family responsibilities today
    • analyze multiple family roles and effective methods for managing these roles in today’s society
    • design and create a flyer for a community family center
  • Rationale

    The family is considered the basic unit in our society. Understanding the functions, roles and responsibilities of family members, as well as societal, cultural, demographic and economic factors that affect families, will enable us to manage our multiple roles, make effective decisions and become responsible, functional family members ourselves. It is important to be able to define family because so many social and legal resources, such as health insurance, life insurance, social security benefits, inheritance rights and government subsidized housing and health care, are based on family membership. Each person’s definition of family may differ because we base our definitions on our own personal experiences of family life.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Four 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Blended family: A type of family structure that is composed of parents, stepchildren and possibly biological children

    Dual career family: Family system in which both husband and wife are employed

    Dysfunctional family: A family unit that provides a negative environment

    Family: A group of two or more people, related by blood, marriage or adoption, who reside together

    Functional family: A type of family environment that provides a positive atmosphere for family members and nurtures growth and development of children

    Extended kinship family: A type of family that consists of parents, children, grandparents and possibly aunts and uncles

    Roles: Individuals within a family unit each have responsibilities or “roles” they perform; a socially accepted behavior pattern

    Role overload: When one individual experiences the feeling of too many family responsibilities

    Traditional family: A type of family structure that is composed of a husband, wife and their biological children

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • computers with Internet access (Be sure to follow district guidelines for Internet access)
    • light projector (Elmo)
    • presenter/remote


    • large strips of paper with the different family structures written on them
    • music or lyrics of “We are Family” by Sister Sledge
    • pictures of popular television or famous families


    • items that represent holidays or special days such as:
      • birthday
      • Christmas
      • Easter
      • Halloween
      • Thanksgiving
      • Valentine’s Day
      • Fourth of July
    • items used by family members such as:
      • clothing
      • board games
      • books
      • cell phone
      • food (play food)
      • laptop
      • money (play money)
      • personal hygiene items
      • toys
      • video games

    Other appropriate lessons:

    Rights, Responsibilities and Realities of Parenting

    Protecting Children Online

    Parenting Skills and Relationships

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

    Prior to class:

    Become familiar with PowerPoints™, 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.

    Become familiar with the following articles:

    How to Make a Flyer in Microsoft® Word
    Flyers are useful, low-cost advertising tools, and you can use Microsoft® Word to create flyers to your liking.

    Before class begins:

    On a table in the front or center of the room, prop up and arrange pictures of popular television “families” with the names of the program printed on them. Have phrases that describe different family structures, such as traditional, blended, single or extended family, written on large slips of paper scattered about.

    Examples include:

    • Almost Home (single family)
    • Good Luck Charlie (traditional family)
    • Growing Pains (traditional family)
    • Hannah Montana (widowed / single parent)
    • In the Middle (traditional family)
    • Modern Family (blended family)
    • Switched at Birth (family with disabilities)

    Play the song “We are Family” by Sister Sledge in the background.

    Allow students to view the pictures and make comments among themselves.

    Then ask the students the following questions:

    • What type of family structure do these families have?
    • How are these families different from one another?
    • What functions do these families provide?
    • What roles do different people have within the family?
    • Would you consider these families “functional” or “dysfunctional”? What makes them one or the other?
    • Do you have special family traditions? (You may ask students to share some of their family traditions or you may opt to share your own.)

    Distribute Traditions-The Tie That Binds (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Allow students to complete the handout and discuss their answers.

    • How do traditions strengthen the family unit?
    • What traditions are you going to have for your own children and family?
    • Why are traditions important?
  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute handout Today’s Families: Note-Taking (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes while viewing the slide presentation. Teacher will determine the notes to be recorded by students.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ Today’s Families (see All Lesson Attachments tab), and begin the discussion with students. Allow for questions and answers to check for understanding.

    Using Today’s Families: Note-Taking (see All Lesson Attachments tab), students will have an opportunity to reflect, review and respond to the information pertaining to the PowerPoint™. They will write a summary of questions, topics or statements which reflect on the information from the lesson:

    • Discuss the topic
    • Write down your thoughts
    • Make a real-world connection to the lesson
    • How is this going to help you in the future?

    Allow for questions and answers to check for understanding.

    During the slide presentation, view the short videos:

    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 assignments
    • shortening assignments
    • providing notes

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Divide students into small groups. Distribute Basic Functions of the Family and Compare and Contrast Family Structures (see All Lessons Attachment tab) handouts. Have the students complete the handouts. Supervise groups as they work. Allow time for discussion and questions. Use Basic Functions of the Family (Key) to check the students’ answers. Check for understanding.

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

    • providing frequent student/teacher contact
    • allowing extra time on assignments
    • shortening assignments
    • providing guided practice
    • repeating directions

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

    Scenario: You have been hired as an assistant at the Community Family Center. You have been assigned to design a flyer for the families which visit the center.

    Divide the class into groups of two. Students will design and create a flyer depicting families.

    Flyers should include:

    • Types of families
    • Societal, cultural, demographic and economic factors affecting family responsibilities today
    • Roles and responsibilities of family members
    • Guidelines for a productive family unit
    • Factors that influence family responsibilities
    • Graphics and any other information needed to complete the flyer

    Distribute Rubric for Family Flyer (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and review with students so they may understand what is expected.

    Students will use Microsoft® Word Flyer templates to design and create their flyers.

    To learn how to make a flyer using Microsoft® Word, click on link below:

    How to Make a Flyer in Microsoft® Word
    Flyers are useful, low-cost advertising tools, and you can use Microsoft® Word to create flyers to your liking.

    Encourage students to be creative and follow copyright rules for images.

    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 to complete tasks
    • checking frequently for understanding of directions

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute handout What Did You Learn Today? (see All Lesson Attachments tab). The lesson closure activity is an instructional strategy which allows students to summarize main ideas, evaluate class processes, answer questions posed at the beginning of the lesson, and link to both the past and future. It also allows the teacher to evaluate the progress of the students and lesson.

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

    Students will present their family flyers.

    Students will be assessed with the appropriate rubric.

    The students will write a one-page summary analyzing the importance of families. Students will reflect on how the lesson, activities and information will assist them in the future. The reflection and various handouts will 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:

    • allowing oral responses
    • allowing extended time to complete tasks
  • References/Resources


    • Microsoft Clip Art: Used with permission from Microsoft.


    • Johnson, Leona. (2004). Strengthening family & self. Tinley Park, IL: Goodheart-Willcox Company.
    • Parnell, Baynor Frances. (2004). Skills for personal and family living. Tinley Park, IL: Goodheart-Willcox Company.
    • Ryder/Harter (2004). Contemporary living. Tinley Park, IL: Goodheart-Willcox Company



  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • Ask students to repeat your instructions back to you to be sure they know what is expected of them before each new phase of the lesson.
    • Discuss vocabulary in detail and make sure everyone has a firm grasp on it before moving forward with the lesson.
    • Use graphic organizers and visuals to explain the lesson in detail.
    • Utilize Four Corners Vocabulary / Word Wall Activity
    • Have students say and write the vocabulary words in their primary languages.
  • 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

    • Investigate government organizations that assist families with disabilities, loss of loved ones, abuse, economic instability or health issues. Report your findings by creating a list of these organizations or placing them on a chart. Include address, phone numbers and websites.
    • Select two countries to compare and contrast how the family roles are different depending on the country you come from or the culture you are raised in. Describe the role expectations of the mother, father, children and grandparents. Include aspects such as financial obligations, raising the children, taking care of the household or other duties. Describe how these are similar and different from American culture.

    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.

    Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar
    The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it’s “a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic,” as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety?

  • Family/Community Connection

    • Volunteer at your local shelter to help serve families in need.
    • Volunteer at your local Sexual Assault and Abuse Free Environment (SAAFE) house, answering the phones or organizing merchandise for the store.
    • Create a questionnaire to ask family and friends about their parenting styles. Present findings to the class for extra credit.
    • Plan a karaoke party for youth and adults. If you don’t have a karaoke machine, just sing along with favorite songs on a stereo.
    • Share customs and rituals from your own background. Invite children to help you with a craft project or a meal that highlights one of your cultural traditions.
    • Hold a neighborhood celebration on the first or last day of the school year. Invite kids, parents, teachers and neighbors to join in.
    • Start a short neighborhood newsletter to share stories and triumphs of neighbors of all ages.
    • Invite a child or teenager to join you in doing a certain activity each season, such as picking strawberries, planting a garden, finding the biggest pumpkin or singing holiday carols.
  • CTSO connection

    Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    National Program:

    FCCLA Family First Project –

    The FCCLA Families First Project is a 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; however, “Families Today” might be a good place to start. This unit covers topics that provide a general overview of families and related issues. The topics are:

    • 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 the lesson.

    Develop a Neighbor Experts in Technology (NET) organization. Ask neighbors to include their areas of expertise (computers, laptops, hand-held devices) in a homework help list. Distribute the list to area students. Then encourage students to call neighbors when they need specific help.

  • All Attachments