Lesson Plans to Welcome All Families in Your School Community

Produced by the HRC Foundation

Welcoming Schools teacher-friendly lesson plans were designed to help educators create classrooms and schools that foster a sense of belonging for all of your students and their families and caregivers.

A key focus of our program is to provide comprehensive resources for educators to teach about all kinds of families inclusive of LGBTQ+ families and to affirm all identities across the gender spectrum.

What Is A Family?

This introductory lesson uses children’s own experiences and questions. You can use the lesson with any number of books featuring diverse families. [K – 2]

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Love Makes a Family

Create a Love Makes A Family classroom or schoolwide display with unique family drawings from each student. This activity helps students see that the common bond that holds all kinds of families and caring communities together is love. [K – 5]

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Tree of Caring: Roots and Wings

Find great alternatives to the traditional family tree. Welcome all students and their families. Be inclusive of LGBTQ+, adoptive, foster, step, and multi-generational families. [1 – 3]

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Embracing Family Diversity: Draw Your Family Todd Parr - Style

After reading The Family Book by Todd Parr as a class, each student will create a drawing of their family. This lesson offers an opportunity to build classroom community by giving students a chance to share and learn about each other’s families. [K – 2]

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A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo: Embracing Family Diversity

Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence—the former Vice President of the United States. Marlon's life was about to change forever when this very special boy bunny fell in love with another boy bunny. With its message of acceptance, this book explores the topics of same gender marriage and democracy. [K – 5]

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Where I'm From: Family, Community and Poetry

Here's a back-to-school activity to get to know your students and their families. This makes a welcoming display for a back-to-school night. [4 - 6]

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Personal Narratives to Explore Family

Students have great stories to tell. Help them find pride in their own story while developing writing skills. [3 - 6]

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Circles of Caring Community:"Family Tree" Activity Showing Support for Children in All Families

This activity helps children to define their families or caring communities for themselves and share it with their peers, if they choose to, in an environment supported by a caring educator. The lesson also offers an opportunity to build classroom community. [1 – 2]

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Diverse Families on Mother's and Father's Days

Develop more inclusive practices around celebrating Mother’s and Father’s Days and help children from diverse family structures feel affirmed in the classroom. [K – 2]

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And Tango Makes Three: Looking At Family & Story Structure

Use this cute story of two male penguins and their baby to discuss family diversity and story structure. [1 – 2]

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Family Diversity Scavenger Hunt

Take a look at your classroom or school library. What do you find? Is there diversity or not? [4 - 5]

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Media Literacy: Analyzing Advertising – How Are Families Portrayed?

Students will look at ads to examine if they are inclusive of all types of families, if they contain biases or stereotypes, or if some kinds of families are left out. [3 – 5]

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Using Book Groups to Look at Family Diversity

Find ideas for great books that can get your students discussing the many ways families are alike and different. [4 - 6]

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Family Story Quilts Inspired by Faith Ringgold, Author, Artist, Illustrator

Help students feel pride in their experience and their family background with an art project to help them tell their story. [3 - 5]

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How Are Stereotypes About Families Reinforced?

Take a look at assumptions and stereotypes about families. Where do they come from? Good discussions for older elementary. [4 - 6]

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