Lesson 7: Families in the wider world (free lesson)

Learning that other families, whether in school or the wider world, may be different from our own family and these differences should be respected.

Before the lesson


You may have pupils in your class who have issues at home or are looked after children who may need additional support during this lesson. It is also important to remind pupils that they are looking at imaginary families and they do not need to talk about their own experiences. This can be reinforced by revisiting the ground rules for PSHE lessons.


Have ready

  • Access to the internet 
  • Books about families or daily life in different countries


  • Activity: Family quiz (see Classroom resources) – one per child
  • Activity: Families around the world  (see Classroom resources) – for groups of two or three

Download classroom resources

Activity: Families around the world
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Activity: Family quiz
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Learning objectives

  • To begin to understand that families are very varied, in this country and across the world

National curriculum

Pupils should know:

  • That others’ families, either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care.
  • The importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them (for example, physically, in character, personality or backgrounds), or make different choices or have different preferences or beliefs.

Success Criteria

  • I understand that families are all different and I should respect these differences
  • I can identify differences and similarities in families in other countries
  • I know that no country will have only one type of family

Cross-curricular links

PSHE Association’s Programme of Study for PSHE Education

English: Reading – comprehension

  • retrieve and record information from non-fiction


  • use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content


British values: Mutual respect, Tolerance of different culture and religions

Attention grabber

Give each child a copy of Activity: Family quiz and ask them to complete it about their family. Explain there are no right or wrong answers; we are just looking at how different families operate. 

Ask the children to share the answers and ask the other children to mark on their list whether they have the same answer, or a different answer.

 Key question

  • What are the similarities and differences between families?

Main event

In pairs or threes tell the children they are going to find out about families around the world. Give each group a country to work on, a copy of Activity: Families around the world resource and access to any relevant books and the internet

Briefly discuss the search terms they can use to help with their online research, including that they will need to include the name of the country each time. 

Following the research children can share the most interesting information they have found with the rest of the class.

Key question

  • What is family life like in other countries?

Wrapping up

When you have discussed the different families stress that these differences should be celebrated. You should also discuss that much of the information they have found about other countries will be an average or a generalisation.  Bring this to life by talking about the differences between families in the class or others that children know. Highlight that there are many different family setups in our country and across the world. Reinforce again the need to have respect for others.


Key questions

  • Why do we need to be careful about the information we find out about other countries?


Pupils with secure understanding indicated by: Understanding that families are all different and that the country people live in can influence these differences.

Pupils working at greater depth indicated by: Understanding that there are differences between families within countries and it is difficult to make generalisations.

Assessing pupils' understanding and progress

Pupils with secure understanding indicated by: Understanding that families are all different and they offer each other support but sometimes they can experience problems.

Pupils working at greater depth indicated by: Understanding that some problems are easily sorted and that others might need additional help.


  • Similarity

  • Difference

  • Same

  • Respect

  • Culture

Next steps

Teacher notes

Created by:
Sarah Huggins,  
RSE & PSHE specialist
Sarah has over 20 years’ experience in education. Starting as a Primary teacher, Sarah then moved into an advisory role that covered both PSHE education and Citizenship. She delivers courses for teachers, as well as sessions for children and young…
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