A family unit for kindergarten is an important social studies unit to start the year for several reasons. A family unit for kindergarten involves letting the students share about their own families, as well as learning about the similarities and differences between families. Teaching students about families is a perfect way to start teaching students about how families can look different than their own family, but they still love each other.
A Family Unit for Kindergarten Lets Students Share About Their Own Families
Starting my year with a social studies unit on families helps to get to know my students and their families. I learn how many people are in their families and how many pets. Students share special facts about their families too. I love learning about their families and I know the other students also love learning about each other’s families.
Sharing about families is also a good way to start learning about other communities, as the family is the child’s first community. It helps to start with something concrete and familiar to them, before moving on to bigger and more abstract communities.
A family Unit for Kindergarten can be the foundation for respect and anti-bias
Starting the year with a family unit can also start teaching your students early on that families can all look different, but they are still a family who loves each other. Families might have two moms or one dad. Families might have grandparents living with them. Maybe the family is a blended family with step or half-siblings or stepparents. Maybe the families have different skin colors. Either way, they are all families who love each other. I find this lesson is most effective when students in your class can identify with all the scenarios of families you provide.
Books for teaching a family unit for kindergarten
You need to make sure that all your books in your library show windows and mirrors to your students. This means that all students can see themselves represented in the books, as well as see other types of children, families, homes, etc. Showing diversity should go beyond just diversity in race. Diversity should include representation or different abilities, LGTBQ+ members, languages, cultures, religions, and more. This advice especially includes books about families. You should make your family books show a wide range of family structures. These are the books I use in my classroom (Amazon Affiliate link)
A family unit for kindergarten is a great graphing lesson too
When teaching about families, I love integrating math and literacy into my lessons. I have my students draw, label, count, and write how many people and how many animals live in their home. Then I have my students fill in the square for how many family members they have in their home.
I do recommend you talk about family members in the home. Otherwise, you get those kids that include their long-lost second cousins once removed in their family count. I also choose to use the word home instead of house, because not everyone lives in a house. Finally, I make a point to show my example growing up where I had two homes – one with a dad and one with a mom – so that all students feel welcome to share and participate.
This graphing lesson is a great introduction to graphs because we can talk about how graphs help us easily see how many family members most of us have in the class and what the least number of family members is and what the most number of family members is.
A family unit for kindergarten is the perfect first social studies unit of the year, because it starts with the community they know well and it helps you to get to know your students better. Finally, a family unit for kindergarten is a great way to start teaching your students about acceptance, respect, diversity, and anti-bias.
If you like these activities, check out my family study on Teachers Pay Teachers!