Our Class is a Family – Ideas and Activities

Our Class is a Family is simply an amazing book to start or end school year. It is perfectly suited to help build positive classroom environment and reinforce an important message of care and respect. Make your classroom feel like home with the help of reading this cute book and further promote its message with Our Class is a Family book activities.

our class is a family activities

Our Class is a Family activities

I just love this book: Shannon Olsen, the author of Our Class is a Family, has done a great job covering major aspects of what it means to be a classroom family. Thanks to this, you can focus on different messages covered in the book and do a wide range of activities focusing on building the classroom community. Below are some Our Class is a Family activities I use as a follow-up to reading the book.

What does it mean to be a family?
I ask the students to compare family and other groups that respect and care for one another: class, neighborhood, city community, friends – bonus points if you can think of other groups!!

Feel like home!

A great compare and contrast activity is to look at activities we carry out at home and in the classroom. List as many as you can for each group! Once you have completed the list, think of ways you can make classroom feel like home.

We are all different? I am not! (Don’t you love Monty Python)

This one is perfect for back to school: have your student create a list of classmates who share a trait in common, e.g. speak a foreign language, own a pet, etc. In my TpT resource, I have created a bingo sheet with preset traits – see more HERE.

our class is a family lesson plan

Our Class is a Family vocabulary

Our Class is a Family vocabulary is rich with words and expressions you can continue to use in character education and SEL sessions. Here is a helpful list of words to target in Our Class is a Family vocabulary practice:

  • related
  • special
  • care for
  • thoughtful
  • kindness
  • memory – make memories
  • in common
  • connections
  • differences – celebrate differences
  • haven
  • peer
  • stick together
  • we have your back

Our Class is a Family worksheets

When preparing a lesson plan for Our Class is a Family add worksheets with empty speech bubbles. Your students can fill them with various expressions that help build healthy classroom community. Some possibilities mentioned in the text of Our Class is a Family include:

  • words we use to show respect and kindness
  • things we say when one makes a mistake – great for teaching growth mindset
  • ways to help someone feel at home

Our Class is a Family games

Above I have mentioned the bingo idea to get to know your classmates better. Another fun game you can play is birthday line-up, where your students have to form a line in the order of the dates they were born on. To have your students really get to know one another, e.g. at the beginning of the year, play “Mingle, Mingle groups“.

Our Class is a Family craft

Our Class is a Family lends itself well to writing activities, since it raises important questions: what does it mean to be a family? How can one make themselves feel at home at school? How can classmates support one another? This is why I like creating writing crafts to go with the book.

To promote the idea our class is a family, I use house shapes as background to writing activities. You can craft house-shaped background and glue written responses you collect onto them. These can then be attached on a bulletin board.

My favorite idea is accordion book craft. You can have multiple activities glued together to create a house-shaped accordion book. Students really enjoy making this garland-like craft. Another bonus is this activity builds upon itself, since you can work on 2-3 pages a day and have the craft finished after a week or so. Accordion book “Our Class is a Family” craft is available in my TpT store HEREClick the link or the image below purchase no-prep resource with classroom building activities!

our class is a family activity read aloud

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