Family Support Network


Lesson 3- Created Lesson on Families submitted by Krista Gregory

Rationale/Context: According to the Social Studies I.R.P., grade one students are expected to be able to describe some of the purposes of families as well as describe how families can be similar and different. Based on the concepts introduced in the previous lesson, students will be able to further explore the roles of family members in helping with difficult situations.

Learning Outcomes:

It is expected that students will:

recognize situations in the story that create a bad day for the main character

describe the ways in which family members help each other

group role play to explore solutions

Materials/Resources: Copy of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst

Critical Question: What could Alexanderís family do to help him have a better day?

Requisite Tools:

Background Knowledge: knowledge of families from previous lesson

knowledge of "Alexander" story

knowledge of role play from previous drama activities

Criteria for Judgment: when answering the critical question, students need to:

fairly consider all reasonable alternatives

use sound reasoning to make suggestions

Critical Thinking Vocabulary: understands fairness (when making decisions) encouragement (of other studentsí ideas)

Thinking Strategy: mind map to organize ideas

Habits of Mind: is willing to tackle an issue (to try to help with Alexanderís problems)

is fair-minded (when considering othersí ideas)

is independent-minded (makes decisions based on his/her own ideas)


1. Remind the students of the previous activities and discussions about families. Ask the class to brainstorm some of the ways in which family members help each other and record their suggestions on the chalkboard or chart paper.

2. Read "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst. Ask the students to be thinking about all of the things that happen to Alexander as the story is read.

3. Ask the students to list some of the things that went wrong in Alexanderís day and how they made him feel. Record the ideas in the form of a mind map with the feelings attached to specific incidents.

4. Ask the critical question "what could Alexanderís family do to help him have a better day?". Record the students ideas either on the previous mind map, connected to specific problems, or on a new mind map of solutions, if the first map is too full and would become cluttered and unreadable.

5. Introduce a role play activity in which students will practice some of the suggestions they have made about how to help family members who are having a bad day. Students should work in groups of three, one will have a problem and the others will help him/her solve it. Assign each group a scenario from the ideas the students generated in the discussion. Students should not act out the scenarios on their own, but rather perform them in front of the class so that the teacher can monitor the interaction and so that all students may give additional suggestions when the groups are finished. Allow students to experience both sides of the role play if time permits

6. Following the activity, ask students how it felt to be helped when they were having a bad day. Remind them that they can do the same for their family members.


During the class discussion and brainstorming the teacher can watch for participation from all students and evaluate their ideas based on what they have been asked to talk about. Students can also be evaluated during the role play by watching for cooperation, listening to other students, and problem solving.

Possible Extensions:

1. Students could role play family situations including helping scenes with puppets.

2. Students could draw a picture of something they have done that was helpful to someone else in their family.

3. After more discussion on feelings, students could draw pictures of their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, day and share them with the class describing why it was such a bad day.