Our Family - When families change and grow

Meet 8-year-old Alexa and her younger brother, Archie. Alexa and Archie's family changed when their mum died. But things changed again and now they have a step-mum and a half-sister.

When families change and grow

Note: this video is about a child whose mother has died.

Alexa and Archie's family changed when their mum died and they became a family of three with just their dad. But things changed again and now they have a step-mum and a half-sister. Alexa shows us that good things can happen when families grow and change.

The Notes below are taken from the full Teachers' Notes document.

Learning objective

To show that families might change and grow, and ways to manage this.

Key questions

Before the video

  • How does a family grow?
  • When a family grows it changes. Can you think of (other) changes that can happen in a family?
  • What is good about families growing and changing?
  • Are there any changes which might be difficult or sad for a family?
  • How might people feel when there is a change in their family?

During / after the video

  • Why did Alexa’s family change?
  • How has Alexa’s family grown?
  • How do you think Alexa might feel about the different changes in her family?
  • Do you think Alexa’s feelings might have changed too?
  • What helps Alexa when she feels sad about her mummy?
  • How do you think daddy and Lucy help Alexa feel better?
  • What else might help Alexa feel better?

After the video

  • Can you think of some ways your family has changed since you were smaller?
  • Can you think of any other changes that have happened to you?
  • What does it feel like when something changes?
  • Can you name some good / not so good feelings?
  • What / Who can help when someone has not so good feelings?

Suggested activities

  • Give or ask children to draw a timeline and add at the top (drawing or writing) changes that have happened to them since they were babies until now (eg grown bigger; had birthdays; started nursery / school). At the bottom, ask them to draw or write any ways in which their family has changed in that time (eg got a pet; had a new baby; moved house).
  • Ask children to think of some changes that might happen to a family and then to choose one of these. Ask them to draw a picture of someone showing how they might feel before that change, and afterwards. They might also be able to add more pictures showing how that person feels immediately afterwards, but how their feelings might change too.
  • Discuss some of the words that describe feelings people have when there are changes. Ask children to write words / illustrate what someone might look like if they feel this word, and make a Feelings display.

More from this series

Showing respect
Supporting and helping one another
Caring family networks