I read My Blended Family by Claudia Harrington and Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart: The Story of Amber and Essie by Vera B. Williams for this week’s module. My Blended Family is about two divorced parents who remarry and live in a haunted-looking house the end of a street, and there are many kids. This is a good example of a non-traditional family, but it does kind of discount any negative feelings that kids might have about their blended families since everyone in this family is So Happy All the Time. The other book, Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart is about how Amber and Essie’s dad went to jail for writing a bad check (I am still really confused about how checks work honestly and I did not understand this part of the book and still don’t), and they are a part of this unit because they have an incarcerated parent.
The topic of this module is about different family structures, and I think the most important things to remember about this topic is that families can come in all different shapes and sizes and variations, and what we think of the ‘traditional’ family just isn’t true for everyone.
The teaching strategy I perused was “What is a Family” which is a lesson plan for grades k-5. It asks students to come up with various ideas of family, and break into groups share things that make your family different and special, and what you have to offer to the class (or community) because of it. At the end of the lesson, students make a portrait of their family on construction paper with paints and have a family gallery to see all the different diverse types of families that make up a classroom (or community). I like this lesson plan because students can walk among the family gallery portraits and see what kinds of different families make up their community.