My Family Your Family Picture Cards

Type of Activity:  Processing Cards

Props Needed:  My Family Your Family Picture Cards

Process:  Beautifully illustrated family member portraits are perfect for learning about relationships, family structures, multiculturalism, people from various generations and the art of creating portraits!  To represent people from various cultures, there are 72 family flash cards composed of 12 individuals from 6 ethnic backgrounds.  Depending on how you or your participants compose families, there are at least three generations represented in each ethnicity.  Each card is laminated and will last for years.  The cards are illustrated rather than photographed for two reasons.

1.  Illustrated cards are easier than photographs for children to associate with the people in their lives;

2.  Because the cards are painted with water colors, they are perfect to use as reference when children make their own portraits using paint, crayons and markers.


Ways to Use Cards:

  • Study the relationships in your group.  Participants can work individually, in pairs or in small groups.  Select a number of character portrait cards and discuss the relationships between the characters.  Are they grandparents and grandchildren?  Siblings?  Friends? Neighbors?    Doctor/Patient?  Co-workers?  Teacher/Student?  Make a list of all of the possible relationships that could exist between groups of people.  Older students can write up descriptions of the relationships.  Each group can present their discussions to the rest of the group.


  • Invite your participants to write a fictional biography.  Choose one or two character cards and give them names.  Describe where they were born, the school they attended or still attend, their current occupation or what they want to be when they grow up, where they have traveled to and what they are doing now.  Practice your portrait making!  Recreate the portrait on a large sheet of paper with crayons,   pencils, or markers and write out the fictional information around the picture.


  • Compose a family.  Participants can work individually to create a character card family that is similar to or different from their own family.  Arrange the individual portrait cards into a family tree.  Place the grandparents at the top of the tree, followed by parent and children.  You may be able to have four generations represented in your family tree.  Describe the relationship between these people—how similar and different are they from your family?


  • Bullying fictional story.  Invite your participants to choose several cards and create a fictional story about how someone is bullied.  One card could be the bully, or a group of bullies.  One card could represent the victim of the bullying incident.  Another card could represent the trusted adult that the victim reports the incident to.  Other cards could be the parents of the bully and how they react when they are told about the incident.  Invite each participant or group to share their fictional story with the rest of the group.


For more resources see:  My Family, Your Family Portrait Cards

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