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Family Fun

Extending Talented Students in the Regular Classroom

Family Fun by Sandy Tasker
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This fully revised blackline master series (Pacemaker Pack) was initially devised as a means of providing extension for students within the regular classroom, whilst catering for the needs of the teacher and providing materials that were designed along educationally sound lines. Family Fun encourages students to explore the roles and traditions within their own family, as well as examining other families to develop an understanding of diversity within the local community. Students consider their own values in real and hypothetical family scenarios. Although the content and layout for the Pacemaker Pack series has been completely updated, the principles behind the series remain the same, using CONTENT LEVELS as a basis for categorizing activities. The key to this approach, which we term the appropriate curriculum model, is that students are presented with activities appropriate to their levels of understanding of the content together with their mastery of the requisite higher-order thinking processes. The levels are an adaptation of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, still a widely accepted and valued model of education. Below are the Content Levels and Indicators used in this book:

Content Level 1 FINDING OUT: Recalling data, showing understanding through restating or extending ideas. Answers factual questions, interprets information, describes or illustrates events.

Content Level 2 USING INFORMATION: Using information in a new situation through extending or breaking down concepts being studied. Problem solving based on knowledge gained. Making assumptions.

Content Level 3 CREATING / EVALUATING: Putting together ideas to develop new products, making judgements based on new information. Puts forward theories or original ideas and designs, forms and states opinions on theories.

Moving Through the Content Levels It is important that higher-order activities such as those at Content Level 3 are underpinned with a solid base of knowledge — the tasks and activities aligned with Levels 1 and 2 are designed to establish and expand this. It should never be assumed that students have the requisite content knowledge, but be prepared to advance students quickly to higher-level activities if they demonstrate a sound understanding of the facts and concepts presented in Levels 1 and 2.

Ready-Ed Publications; June 2001
36 pages; ISBN 9781863975704
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Family Fun
Author: Sandy Tasker

Family Fun Extension Ideas

Try these quick ideas for looking at families in the classroom.


• Write a report about a parent’s job. Interview them about what they do, visit their workplace if you can. Invite the parent in to talk to the class about what they do or take photos and make a display poster.

• Find out about your own milestones when growing up and make a cartoon booklet about the major events in your life.

• Find out about anyone in the class that speaks a different language at home. Ask them to teach you some words.

• Survey class to find out how many brothers and sisters they have. Find a way of graphing this (there are many different ways).

• Have a special afternoon where each student has the opportunity to teach a game or a song that they play with their family.


• Each child in the class traces back until they find another country that one of their ancestors comes from. They learn some facts about the country, wear clothing if possible and bring in a dish from that country to celebrate an "International Family Day".

• Have each student bring in a baby photo and have a "Who’s who?"guessing competition. The student who guesses the most right wins a prize.

• Study local road maps by locating where students live in the neighbourhood. Trace pathways from one house to another.

• Each student writes a short passage about an event they experienced with their family. Swap with a partner, who has to draw a careful illustration of the event. The better the description, the better the illustration. Encourage this to be a "judgement free" lesson.

• Make a collage page for each member of the family by cutting out pictures that represent them. Join all pages together to make a large poster that shows the whole family.

• Find out something new. Write five questions that you would like to ask each member of the family. Record your findings in a "reporter’s notebook" and then choose one member to write an interesting article about.


• Read a story about a family. Predict what will happen next. Read the rest of the story. Write a different ending for the family in the story.

• Make a clay sculpture of a member of the family. Look closely first and record all of their features, clothing style, etc.

• Discuss things that make families argue and role-play different solutions to the problems.

• Write a funny story about one of these topics: "The day mom/dad and I swapped lives"; "The day mom/dad turned into a giraffe (or another animal)"; "The day mom/dad became a circus clown/astronaut/secret agent".

• Make a plan for being a better family member. Write at least three goals for each week and keep a record of how these goals are met.

• Write a script about you asking your mom if you can have a pet rhino. Think of all the reasons that mom would say no, and then think of your solution.

• A new TV show is all about ordinary families on an overseas holiday. Write a letter to a TV producer explaining why YOUR family would be perfect for this job.

• Design a robot that would make a perfect brother or sister. Draw a labelled diagram and write a description on all the things the robot can do.