Written by Mary Hoffman and illustrated by Ros Asquith

Curriculum Connections:
This resource will help primary students to extend their understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in the text to their own knowledge and experience and to the world around them. It will challenge students to express their own personal thoughts and feelings about what has been read, and to think critically about their perspectives of what constitutes a family.


Kindergarten Personal and social development: children are connected to others and contribute to their world; children have a strong sense of identity and well being

Grades 1 – 3 Language: foundational knowledge such as oral language, prior knowledge and experience, understanding, higher-order thinking skills, and capacity for metacognition.

Art: Exploration of art in the world around them, to understand that people all over the world create and enjoy art, and to develop the ability to communicate about their immediate environment and interests through visual images.

Text Overview:
The book The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman is a beautifully illustrated depiction of all kinds of families and their lives together. Hoffman celebrates the diversity of family compositions by describing different family sizes, different homes, ways to go to school, different ways in which parents work, different foods that these families eat and much more. With a wide variety of families included in this treasury, all children can see parts of themselves represented in this book.

Lesson Plan:
After reading this book, students can draw pictures to represent their family and the class can create their own Great Big Book of Families. This book can also be used as a starting point for students to learn about the life of a family in another part of the world.


Why is The Great Big Book of Families an important Book to Share?
In honor of International Day of Families, The Great Big Book of Families introduces children to different family structures and ways of life, and helps them to appreciate some of the similarities and differences between their family and other families in the world.

Notes from the United Nations on International Day of Families
International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly resolution in 1993 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.


For more information about the International Day of Families, please visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/familyday/

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