Family Ties (LS-HR-620)

Introduction

The Family Ties learning scenario is meant to teach students the significance of family and the way it developed and changed throughout the twentieth century.  It is also supposed to encourage tolerance and empathy for different forms of family, especially single-parent families and gay families. The Europeana resource I used is the exhibition called “Family Matters”. It contains a collection of photos and videos depicting families in different situations and shapes during the twentieth century.

The twentieth century is referred to as the Century of Change since it brought about many social, political and economical changes that affected people’s homes and lives. The two world wars, women’s emancipation and LGBTQ movements were some of the events that contributed to the formation of new family concepts and discourses.

Learning Process

The lesson is implemented inside the classroom and it starts with a discussion about the significance of family. The teacher encourages students to discuss the topic in groups. Then, the students write their ideas into the Mentimeter. In the class discussion and with the teacher as a moderator, they express their opinions about it and talk about their own family. They distinguish the nuclear family from the extended one. They talk about different families from their social circle – single-parent families and gay families. They reflect on the feelings they have about their own families as well as different ones.

Resources for students

All students and the teacher are provided with tablets and we use MS Teams to collaborate. The material for this lesson is posted online as a Wakelet collection. Students get the link and are instructed to read the text and study the pictures and videos of the Europeana exhibition called Family Matters. Having read the text, the students, divided into teams, take the quiz in order to check their understanding. Once they finish the quiz, the teacher reflects on the results.

Resources for students

Next, the teacher shows one old photo of a family taken in the 1920s and asks students to describe the people in it. Students’ teams discuss the physical appearance of the people in the photo and, in turns report to the rest of the class.

After the description of the physical appearance, students are invited to assume details about the photo and the people in it: When was it taken? Are the people happy? Rich? Poor? Then, the teacher draws attention to one person in the photo and asks students to assume who this person is, if he/she is happy, why he/she is angry… The spokesperson of groups

Finally, students choose one family photo that they brought in and write a 70-word long family saga about them. Once they finish, they read it to the class. The owner of the photo tells the real story and spots the differences and similarities between the two stories. They upload their stories into an eBook called Family Ties.

A photo from the author’s family album

Conclusion

At the end of the lesson, the teacher asks questions addressing the students’ understanding of the lesson content and encourages them to reflect on their learning. Students write their answers in the Google form. The questions are:

How well do you feel you understood today’s lesson?

What is the most important thing you have learned in today’s lesson and why is it important?

What are two ways you have contributed in class today?

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Mauritshuis.

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