Tapestry of Faith: Families: A Jr. High School Youth Program that Explores the Diversity, Commonality, and Meaning of Families

Activity 2: That's A Family!

Part of Families

Activity time: 40 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • DVD player
  • Film, That's a Family!
  • Newsprint and markers (optional)

Preparation for Activity

  • Obtain the film That's a Family! You may purchase it from New Day Films. If the price is prohibitive and you wish to borrow this film, you can contact the UUA's Reach email list subscribers or a local or regional library.
  • Prepare the film for viewing. Advance it to the opening title, which follows the opening montage of comments.

Description of Activity

To introduce the film you might say, "We are going to watch a short film called That's a Family! You will notice that this film is aimed at an audience younger than you. For this reason, you may find it a bit simplistic. However, we are showing this film because it is the best one we have found for representing true family diversity. Still, it cannot show us every family configuration because each and every family is unique. Yet we think it represents more diversity than you generally find in movies, on TV, or in other forms of the media."

Before viewing the film, offer the following questions if they are appropriate for your group. List them on newsprint as you see fit.

  • What matters to the children in the film?
  • What do the children say about how other people perceive them or their families?
  • Do they define or talk about their families in ways that feel similar to or different from your situation?
  • What is difficult or joyful about the children's families?
  • Do stereotypes of families seem to influence the children's thinking?

View the film.

Invite participants to reflect on the film. What questions did the film raise? What family struggles did they detect? What joys? If needed, use the questions you posed before the film as prompts. Allow participants to make connections between their own experiences as members of a family and those of the youth in the film.

Including All Participants

Use closed captioning options, if needed. Make sure everyone can see the television.