Grade 1 Social: Family and Celebrations

During internship, one of the favourite units that I taught was the “Family and Celebrations” unit in Social Studies. This turned out to be a very long unit because the students were very engaged and excited about what we were doing. Unfortunately, I don’t have full lesson plans for the whole unit or electronic copies of all activities. Below are some of the highlights of the unit:

We started the unit by looking at how we are all unique and different. The students explored what makes them unique, learned more about their classmates, and discovered how they were the same and different from their classmates.

We then expanded our horizons and looked at our families:

  • We talked a lot about who makes up our families and how the people in our families are different. To illustrate this, each student made a family flower to show who was in their family and then we made out class garden of families. This activity helped students to see that each family is unique and special just like each flower in the garden.
Our Garden Of Families!

Our Garden Of Families!

  • We then created a class quilt to share with each other what we liked to do with our families. As well, we interviewed each other about our families (interview questions). Students then took each other’s answers and together they created a Venn-diagram to show how their family was different or the same from their partner’s family.
What we like to do with our families.

What we like to do with our families.

 

The final piece to this unit was to look at celebrations and traditions.

  • We brainstormed what things families celebrate, what traditions are, and what we want to know about traditions. I took the things the students wondered about traditions and created an interview assignment. The students took the interview questions, interviewed a family member about their Thanksgiving celebrations and traditions. I believe that family involvement and input is very important in the classroom. By have each student conduct an interview, students got to share something that was very personal to them. Students took great pride in sharing their interview in our sharing circle.
Traditions KWL

Traditions KWL

 

  • After discovering how their families celebrated Thanksgiving differently, the students then inquired into how people from around the celebrated similar fall festivals. We compared how these fall festivals were the same and different from our Thanksgiving.

 

  • Finally, to finish the unit by expanding our knowledge of traditions to other celebrations, how we celebrate, what traditions we have, and how each family will celebrate differently and have different traditions.

 

 

This is just an outline of the unit with a few key activities. If you would like to hear more about the unit or wish to use it in the classroom please feel free to comment any questions and I would love to fill the unit out more for you.

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