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Importance of Families 3: Teens and Senior Citizens

Main Core Tie

Teen Living
Strand 2 Standard 2

Time Frame

2 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills

  • Character
  • Social & Civic Responsibility


Shelli Barnum
Jamie May
Laura Schiers
Amy-Jo Stanford


Students will explore the importance of teen relationships with senior citizens.


PowerPoint on elderly, Video: "The Mailbox", cotton balls, items for memory tray, red glasses, tape, Unit packet from previous lessons.

Background for Teachers

After teaching unit for 2 days, you will have an idea of what students interactions with families are and what the needs are also. Be ready to lead discussions on similarities between teens and senior citizens, common stereotypes of senior citizens, and contributions seniors make to family and community.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students will have completed days 1 & 2 of Importance of Family Unit. Students will have personal knowledge of their relationships with significant senior citizens in their lives.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will explore their relationships with the senior citizens in their lives and formulate ways in which those relationships can be improved.

Instructional Procedures


Introduction: (5 minutes)
Have students relate what they learned about their families and themselves. Review last two lessons as they tie into today's lesson. Define and discuss "extended family", and how senior citizens fit into their particular families. The students will discuss contributions seniors make to community and family. Also discuss any stereotypes they think people may have about senior citizens.

PowerPoint. quiz, and notes: (20 minutes)
Identify significant seniors in your own life and tell a short story about the importance of them. Show PowerPoint on elderly and have students complete the quiz as they watch the PowerPoint. Students will need a lined sheet of paper and will answer the following questions (quiz)

  1. What do we really think of the elderly?
  2. What is considered old?
  3. What are some stereotypes of seniors and teens?
Discuss after PowerPoint. Students may add to their answers during discussion, if teacher desires.

Activities: (30 minutes)
Have students prep themselves to be "old" ~ cotton balls in ears, red glasses on, tape on fingers. Then do the activities: start by playing "Simon Says". Have students react after game. Then have students take out a piece of paper. Bring out the covered tray and explain that they will have 1 minute to memorize what is on the tray before it is covered again. After the minute is up, recover the tray and ask them to list as many of the items as possible. Discuss what it was like to be old.

Video~"The Mailbox" (35 minutes)
Have students watch the video "The Mailbox". Once the video is over, have students write their grandparents a letter. Encourage them to mail the letter and to call their grandparents tonight.

Conclusion: (5 minutes)
Discuss the importance of teen's relationships with senior citizens. Tie this discussion in with the concept of the similarities between senior citizens and teens. (self esteem issues, stereotypes, loneliness, need for interaction with others, etc)

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Diverse learners may have more trouble than most of the class with the "elderly" simulation, because of the decreased mobility. Be sensitive to these students and be ready to offer extra assistance as well as to insure their safety.


Gifted students may want to conduct personal interviews with elderly family members and/or neighbors. Such students should come up with a list of questions to ask and summarize to the class/teacher with a verbal or written report.

Assessment Plan

Students will be assessed through the unit packet, quizzes and class discussion.


Video: The Mailbox

Created: 08/04/2010
Updated: 02/05/2018