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Here’s My Family

Students share a favorite family tradition. Games? Feasts? Reunions? Quilting? Show family togetherness in a dramatic diorama.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Family traditions are often passed down for generations. Conduct a class discussion with students about an activity that their family does together. Have students show the activity in a diorama in a box. For our example, we chose playing petanque. Petanque is a deceptively simple, relaxing game played by both children and adults in France. It is similar to horseshoes in the United States, bocce in Italy, and lawn bowling in Great Britain.
    2. Design the diorama. Cut white paper with Crayola® Scissors to cover a recycled box. On one piece, draw and color a map of your family’s original area with Crayola Markers.
    3. Roll a long, thin piece of Crayola Neon Model Magic. Attach it with Crayola School Glue around the outside border of the country to highlight it. Glue the map to the back of the lid.
    4. Set the scene. Cut and color more paper to fit inside the box. Draw the background where your family tradition takes place, in this case the petanque playing area.
    5. Make the balls (boules)! First, roll a small ball (the cochonnet) with Neon Model Magic. Place it in the center of the circle. Make two or three larger balls in different colors for each player.
    6. Show a favorite family tradition! Use Model Magic to sculpt several family members. For petanque, one player could be rolling the ball while one watches and another waits to measure the distance between the balls. Add details to people such as hats and aprons. Draw facial features with a Washable Fine Line Marker.
    7. Glue everything into place. Air-dry. Students present their dioramas to the class.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grade level complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    LA: Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Describe the unique features of one's nuclear and extended families.

    SS: Analyze a particular event to identify reasons individuals might respond to it in different ways.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove; The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco; Tree Night by Eve Bunting

    As a whole group, students compose interview questions to ask family members about the background of their traditions. Students can write a documentation of adult responses or videotape the meeting. Either documentation can be used in assisting students with organizing an oral presentation for classmates of family traditions.

    Ask family members to share traditional recipes. Students write down the recipes, with adult assistance if needed, and illustrate the product. Students can prepare the recipe for classmates if possible. Students organize an oral presentation which may include such information as the combination of ingredients in the recipe, the steps to follow, and the taste of the final product.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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