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Adopted Grandparents
Subject: Interdisciplinary
Grade: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

My third graders have an adopted grandparent at a nearby nursing home each year. We write letters, make cards and tapes, and send holiday gifts. We also visit our grandparent each Christmas. We not only visit with our grandparent, but we also sing carols and visit with other residents.


Children will use many academic skills while corresponding, visiting, and learning to appreciate and respect older citizens and the wealth of resources they can share with our society.


There are many skills that can be incorporated into our grandparent program. However, writing letters and stories, creating time lines, learning about life styles in the past, creative art and music projects, and problem solving activities are the skills we focus on the most. We are hoping to incorporate technology via internet use this year.

Materials Needed

The basic materials for this lesson are simply using ideas and curriculum-required objectives to begin and continue a growing relationship with an adopted grandparent. Contact a nearby nursing home and ask if they will agree. Most places are overjoyed for school children to take such an interest. I usually ask for someone who doesn't have many visitors and who is able to correspond with my class.

Lesson Plan

Step 1: Explain and ask your administration to approve this project.

Step 2: Contact a nearby nursing home. You will probably speak to the activity or public relations department.

Step 3: Identify your school, grade level and give a brief description of what you would like to do. Find out basic information about your grandparent so you can share it with parents and children.

Step 4: Send home a newsletter explaining to the parents what, why, who, and where about the adoptive grandparent program.

Step 5: Explain the program to the children. Have children copy down basic information to keep in their notebooks. Example: name, age, nursing home, address, phone #, and any other information you may have.

Step 6: Depending on the children's ability, have them write a letter, draw pictures, etc. to mail to their grandparent. If you can take snapshots of the students, your classroom, school, and yourself, it would be great to send with the first correspondence. Mail as soon as possible.

Step 7: Try to correspond in some form at least once a month. Video and audio tapes are great if the grandparent has access to the needed machines.

Step 8: Arrange to visit near the Christmas holidays and take little gifts. Also ask if your class can carol for other residents while there. Be sure to call in advance because the holidays get rather hectic for the nursing homes.

Step 9: Contact your local media when you visit. Most newspapers jump at a story like this. But the biggest benefit is for the grandparent and the children. They love seeing themselves in the paper.


I assess this activity by asking parents, students, and the nursing homes for their feedback on our program. I never have to ask the grandparent, because they give a very positive report every time we are in touch with them. I simply send home an evaluation form on myself for the parents to complete at the end of the year. One of the questions is: What are some of the projects we did this year that you think were worthwhile? The adopted grandparent program always is one of the programs listed on almost everyone's evaluation sheet.

I call the nursing home and ask them if they would like us to continue the program the following year and also I ask for any suggestions on how we could make it better for them. I have never gotten anything but positive feedback. I simply discuss the program with the children all through the year. At the end of the year they write a paragraph on their adoptive grandparent. Again, all children have nothing to say except that they loved it. I hope you will find this program as rewarding as the third graders and myself at Eagleville School.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted by Theresa Hill, [email protected]
Eagleville School (K-12), Eagleville, Tennessee, USA


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