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The Important Thing About A Family

Main Core Tie

English Language Arts Grade 1
Writing Standard 2

Time Frame

1 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size


Life Skills

  • Communication
  • Social & Civic Responsibility


Grace Wayman


In this lesson students identify the ways families provide basic needs to their members.Students create and publish a booklet to display this information. This lesson is designed to have a class of older children buddy with the first graders to help with the reading and writing.



  • One copy of this story frame for each student
  • A five page flip book for each student. This can be made by taking 3 pieces of unlined 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. Layer them one on top of the other leaving a one inch space at the bottom of each page. Fold the top edges down, again leaving a one inch space between each sheet. Now you have a flip up book with a cover and five pages. Staple once at the top on each side to secure the book.

Background for Teachers

Read several books about family prior to this lesson giving students examples of how families provide basic needs. Have a class of older children, 3-6 grade, buddy with the class for this activity to help first graders with the reading and writing.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The learner will identify the ways families provide basic needs to their members.

Instructional Procedures

Read aloud 'The Important Book', by Margaret Wise Brown. The students' books will be patterned after this.

Tell the students they are going to make an 'Important Thing About A Family' book. Write the word family on the board and draw a circle around it. Have the class brainstorm all the things families provide for us. Record their responses on the board in a web fashion coming off of the word family. Write their ideas in a phrase that could finish this sentence 'The important thing about a family is', such as 'they give you love.' Try to keep the ideas varied by saying 'Can you think of any different ideas?'

Give each student a copy of the story frame (see the link below).

Have the students choose the most important thing they think a family provides and write it by line 1. They rewrite it again down by line 5. The older buddies can help them find the idea they like and help with spelling.

Then they choose another thing they think families provide and write it by line 2.

Repeat this process to put ideas by line 3 and line 4 having the older students help with spelling.

Have students and older buddies check to make sure they have all five blanks filled in and that 1 and 5 are the same.

Pass out a flip book to each student.

Have buddies help the first graders see where to copy each line of their story. On the cover will be 'The important thing about a family is'. On the next flap (in the one inch section that is showing) they write idea 1. On the next one inch flap section they write idea 2, and so forth. Idea 5 ends up on the last flap. It helps to have a sample made up ahead of time.

Again have buddies help check to make sure that every line is written in the correct place.

Have students lift up each page and draw a picture to illustrate their ideas.




Wise Brown, Margaret The Important Book (Trophy Press, April, 1990)

Created: 07/21/1997
Updated: 02/05/2018