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A "Typical Day"
Then and Now



  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
  • Health
    --Family Life
  • Social Studies


  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

Students compare their “typical day” to a grandparent’s typical day when he or she was a child.



  • connect in a special way with a grandparent or another senior adult in their lives.
  • analyze the similarities and differences between their "typical day" and the typical day of a senior adult in their lives when that adult was a child.



Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

This lesson is a nice way to recognize Grandparent's Day (the Sunday after Labor Day in the U.S.), or for use at any other time of year.

The book Something to Remember Me By, by Susan V. Bosak, has inspired many great classroom lesson plans, including the one paraphrased below. Dozens of additional lesson ideas can be found in the Grandparents Day Activity Kit on the Legacy Project Web site.

You might preface this lesson by sharing the book Something to Remember Me By.

The Lesson Idea
Much has changed in recent decades. The lives that our students lead are far different from the life that the older adults, including grandparents, in their lives led. Invite your students to keep track of and write down some of the things they do on a "typical day."

Questions for Students to Consider
What time do you get up?
When do you have breakfast?
What do you do after breakfast?
When do you go to school?
When is recess and lunch?
When does school end?
What happens after school?
When do you eat dinner?
When do you go to bed?
Make a list of the typical things you do in school, the activities or sports you participate in, the things you do for fun, and the chores you have to do at home.

Have students ask a senior adult in their lives (a grandparent or another relative, an elderly neighbor, a family friend) to create a list of the same items for their "typical day" when they were the student's age.

Then have students think and write about the similarities and differences in the daily schedules. Students might use a Venn diagram to organize their thoughts. They should label one circle with their own name and the other with the name of the grandparent or older adult. Things that are the same for both the student and the adult will appear in the central overlapped part of the diagram.

About Something to Remember Me By
This story about love and legacies across generations begins as a little girl and her grandmother spend special times together filled with "big warm smiles, and warm snuggly hugs." Many visits end with the grandmother's familiar words, "I want to give you something to remember me by." Then she gives her granddaughter a small keepsake.

As the years pass, grandmother and granddaughter share many gifts as the keepsakes fill a cedar chest with memories. It becomes clear that one gift is most precious of all -- the gift of love.

This heartwarming story is beautifully complemented by the richly-detailed, golden watercolor illustrations of award-winning artist Laurie McGaw.

As a gift or a resource, Something to Remember Me By is a book that leaves a lump in your throat and a smile on your face.

For ideas for integrating the book into your classroom lessons, you might take a look at the Start With the Story Web page.


Each student might write a paragraph or brief essay in which they compare a typical day in their own life to a typical childhood day in the life of the grandparent or senior adult with whom they talked. Assess students’ ability to think critically as they compare the two sets of information they collected.

Lesson Plan Source

The Legacy Project

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.11 Participating in Society
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

NSS-USH.K-4.1 Living and Working together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago
GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-USH.5-12.1 Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
NSS-USH.5-12.9 Era 9: Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)
NSS-USH.5-12.10 Era 10: Contemporary United States (1968 to the Present)

See more Lesson Plans of the Day in our Lesson Plan of the Day Archive. (There you can search for lessons by subject too.) For additional history lesson plans, see these Education World resources:

  • Lesson Planning: History
  • History Subject Center
  • Teacher-Submitted Lesson Plans: History
  • Work Sheets from Teacher Created Materials: History

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    Copyright © 2008 Education World

    Originally posted 08/29/2005
    Last updated 04/29/2008