..Family Portraits..

Yesterday, with my 4th graders we  were writing letters to the Italian students that we are in contact with.

My students wrote about themselves first and then it was time to talk about their families..

I wrote the title on the board…

‘My Family’


We did some brainstorming together and I wrote the words on the board. While doing it, I recognised that some students weren’t writing anything down at all .. and I can’t say they looked happy either. After quickly finishing writing on the board, I started to walk around in the class and ask what was wrong.. Here are some answers I got for my question..

My mother doesn’t want me to talk about my father. So maybe I shouldn’t mention about him..

My father doesn’t live with us, should I still mention about him?

I don’t like my brother so I don’t want to write about him.

That was unexpected.. Such sad things to hear from little kids.. I didn’t actually know what to say.. I’m not even sure if there is any..

But one thing I know for sure.. Family is the one of the most important things in one’s life..

I suppose that many teachers experience these kind of issues.

So what I want to know is how did/ do you deal with these issues in your classroom ?


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Merve Oflaz says:

    Dear Nihal,

    Thank you for sharing your feelings honestly. It’s so sad. I think that has become a delicate issue nowadays. When I was working at the primary school, I used to tell them to write about their imaginary families including celebrities:) Sİnce your aim is to introduce themselves to their new friends, it is inevitable to write about their real families. Hard to decide:( I’m sure you have sorted out the problem professionally, but asking them to write about their favourite family member (hoping that there is one!) may be a solution though.

    Good Luck
    Merve OFLAZ

  2. As soon as I read ‘imaginary families including celebrities’ part, I forgot about everything and thought about whom I would choose🙂 Even me! So it works! Nice idea..

    Writing about the favorite family member.. Well, that’s what we did today actually. And yes thank God they have one! Of course not everyone in the class has these problems but every child is important..I’m sure you know what I mean..So.. My Family parts were kept short and we moved onto ‘My favorite..’ part..

    Thank you Dear Merve both for the comment and the inspiration!

  3. Onur Rençber says:

    Dear Nihal,

    I agree with teacher Merve but I want to add something both yours and Merve’s. Family is the most important thing especially in Turkey. Imaginary family or favourite family may solve this problem but this might have psychological advantages and disadvantages, too.

    If someone or my teacher would have asked this question to me I would have answered perfectly and written many things🙂 but I would also have waited it to come true. This is the worst part and nobody could explain this to me. Because I’m only a little kid who is waiting for Santa Claus sometimes🙂

    And of course you will ask me “What do you suggest ?” You know I’m not really good at communicating them. What would I do if I had situation in my class ? Meeting their parents is the best thing to sort out this problem because this is more than teaching English.

    Best wishes

    Onur Rençber

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