Tool "Family Under Construction"

Language: English

This activity gives the participants the possibility to talk about their families and to reflect on what makes a family.

Time 60-90 minutes
Approximate number of participants 8+
Age under 10
Date published 9 Dec 2011, 13:12


To raise awareness about different kinds of families

To consider the idea that families do not need to be related by blood


Modelling clay or paper and crayons/ coloured pencils/ pens
Flipchart paper and markers
Copies of the family pictures (see appendix)

Step-by-step instructions

1. Split the participants into groups of around four. Each group has modelling clay or enough paper and crayons/ pencils/ pens for each person.

2. Ask the children to make or draw their families. They should put themselves in the middle of the paper and position their family members around them, close or far away depending on how close they feel they are to each of them. They should also explain what roles each of their family members fulfil in their lives and in the family as a whole (e.g. one family member is mainly responsible for cooking and is the person they have most fun with, another is the person who they turn to if they need to talk and another is the one who helps them with homework and takes them to school).

3. The children should share what their family looks like in the small group and display their family on the wall/ table.

Debriefing 1

What are the differences between your families? What are the similarities?

What are families for? (Note their answers on a flipchart)

4. Go back into small groups (or pairs) and give each one of the pictures (see appendix). In their group or pair they should decide whether the people on this picture are a family.

5. Come back together and ask participants for their decisions.


Debriefing 2

Why did you decide that this is a family/ is not a family?

Can people who are not related by blood be a family? Why (not)?

What is a family?

Explain that a family does not have to consist only of father, mother and their children (this is a ‘nuclear family’). A family can also be a group of people who share the same values and are committed to each other over a long period, or a group of people living together.


You can find the appendix in the attach file

Attached files