Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 4, 2009

Lesson Planning: First Grade

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:58 am

This is the lesson plan which contains the book only slightly more controversial than the text that is supposed top be used for Second graders.   From what I understand, the objection to the book itself is that families with gay or lesbian parents are side by side with Cleaver type families (as well as single parent, no children and grandparent headed families) and told that it is okay. 

From what I can discern there is no discussion of the mechanics of how a gay and lesbian relationship works in the bedroom in the book.   So if we are using the argument that first graders are too young to be exposed to the “sexual” definitions of the term “gay” and “lesbian,” certainly this book doesn’t address it beyond giving the two mommy or two daddy household a name beyond two mommy and two daddy family.   

The one objection I can sort out from the comments section is that this line, “…acknowledge that every person gets to decide who their family is…” is not realistic.    If that is the only objection, it’s a pretty small one and probably has more to do with the language needing to be cleaned up than the lesson itself to be scrapped.Title: Who’s In a Family?

About Who’s In a Family? Class Meeting:

Holding Class meetings on identifying families will assist students to understand that the common bond that holds all kids of healthy family together is love and caring.

Book:  Who’s In a Family? by Robert Skutch The story of the book is, as described on

…Beginning with a traditional nuclear family and ending with blank spaces in which the child reader is instructed to “draw a picture of your family,” this slight book catalogues multicultural contemporary family units, including those with single parents, lesbian and gay parents, mixed-race couples, grandparents and divorced parents. Kevin and his brother like their kimono-clad grandmother to help them with their jigsaw puzzles, while Ricky lives with two families. “Aunt Amanda and Uncle Stan,” pictured riding in a blue convertible with their pets, “don’t have any children at all” but are “still a family,” says the narrator, because “they say Mouser and Fred are their ‘babies.'” Because “animals have families, too,” the text describes elephant, lion, chimpanzee and dog families as well as human families. (A human family headed by a mother is “like the chimpanzee family. Mama chimp raises the babies by herself, with the help of any older children she may have.”)…


  • No new Vocabulary

The Lesson:

1. Gather in a circle to introduce the topic “Who’s In a Family?”
Briefly review the class meeting rules.
Label a piece of chart paper, “What Do We Know About Families?”
Ask the class the following questions and record their answers on paper.

  • What do we know about families?
  • Who is in a family?
  • What do family members give or share with each other?
  • What responsibilities do family members have?

2. Introduce the book, Who’s a Family?

  • Before reading the book aloud, ask students to pay attention to the kinds of families that are shown in the book. Instruct them to see how many different kinds of families they can find in the book.
  • As you read, you may pause after each family and ask questions such as,
    “What do you see in this picture?”
    “Who’s in this family?”

3. Discussing student responses:

  • Listen closely while recording and responding to students’ comments.
  • If a student responds one family in the book is made up of a mother, a father and two children and a cat, you may acknowledge that some families look like this, but also ask students for other examples of what a family can look like.
  • If students choose to describe their own families, acknowledge that every person gets to decide who their family is.


Ask students return to their seats to draw a picture of their own family.
Post and/or share out.


  1. The whole thing is so completely charming– it is hard to imagine what all the fuss is about. I read the commentary in the newspaper from the pastor of Central Baptist and it seemed to be saying what they have a problem with anyone telling children that they can have a family that varies from the mom, dad, and kids form. Since many children DO have families that vary from that due to death, divorce, incapacitation of the natural parents, etc. I think they are leaving out a lot of kids if they stick to that form, without even mentioning two moms or two dads.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — May 5, 2009 @ 9:18 pm

  2. I have read that book … it is a thinly veiled attempt to indoctrinate children with the ridiculous notion that having a gay parent is normal. Guess what? It isn’t normal …

    Comment by Jeff R. Thomason — May 5, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

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