Introduction | Modules: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Module 1: Increasing the Strength of the Hispanic Family

Lesson a: Identifying Family Structure
Objectives and Suggested Timeline

Lesson b: Family Values
Objectives and Suggested Timeline

Vocabulary | Instructional Aids | Handouts | Slide Show


The objectives of these lessons are to understand and define the role of individuals within the family structure and to relate more effectively with each member of the family. The vocabulary for these lessons will emphasize the roles and values of family members. It will be necessary to discuss each role, tradition and values with the participants of the class. In order to accomplish this the vocabulary from the power point presentation must be used. Understanding of the vocabulary will enhance discussion and understanding of the lesson. The vocabulary for this lesson is as follows:


Pertaining to or in accord with tradition


Elements of a culture passed down from generation to generation, especially by oral communication. A mode of thought or behavior followed by a people continuously from generation to generation.


From outside a mode of thought or behavior followed by a people continuously from generation to generation. A cultural custom or usage.


To take on or assume, to take up or use as one’s own.


Connection by blood or marriage, kinship. A connection between two or more people.


Between generations


Offspring, having a common parent or parents and constituting a single stage of descent.

Two-parent family

A family consisting of two parents, they may or may not be biological parents.

Single parent family

A family with only one parent present at a given time, children may be shared between two separate homes.


A characteristic or expected social behavior of an individual.


The one who promotes development or growth, upbringing, or rearing


The one who enforces training that is expected to produce a specified character or pattern of behavior


The one who maintains freedom from quarrels or disagreements, they are responsible for keeping harmonious relationships going.


The individual responsible for causing dissent in a family or social situation.

The favorite

The individual liked or preferred above all others.

Gender roles

The expected behaviors of either masculine or feminine.


A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile


A rite of passage for young Hispanic women.


Observation of a day or event with ceremonies of respect, festivity, or rejoicing.


A Christian sacrament, symbolic of spiritual regeneration, in which, as a result of the use of water and the recital of a form of words, the recipient is cleansed of original sin and admitted into Christianity or a specific Christian church.


The legal union of man and a woman as husband and wife.


The ceremony held in connection with the burial or cremation of the dead.


A vigil or watch over the body of a deceased person before burial, sometimes accompanied by festivity.


A form of devotion to the Virgin Mary, consisting of three sets of five decades each of the "Hail Mary," each decade preceded by an "Our Father," and ending with a "Glory Be to the Father." This is often prayed prior to the funeral.

The teacher should become familiar with the words and definitions prior to each session.

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Instructional Aids

In order to discuss the structure of the family and the role each individual plays the teacher must also be aware of names of extended family members, i.e. Abuela/Grandmother, Nina/Godmother, Nino/Godfather, Tia/Aunt, Tio/Uncle, etc.

The Family Photo Album will offer examples of these relationships. These relationships should be pointed out to the participants in the class. Pictures will initiate discussion and personal stories and experiences.

A handout "Family Roles" is included for this lesson. It should be completed during class time and will facilitate further discussion on identification of individual’s role in the family.

A crossword puzzle containing the vocabulary words is also included. It should be assigned as homework to be completed with other family members. This will promote family activities and discussions in the class participants’ home.

A large part of family literacy is accomplished with the library activity. Class members should be instructed to visit their local library and check out appropriate books to read with family members. A list of suggested books is included in the lesson plan and in the appendix of this publication. Do not take for granted that all class members will possess a library card or the knowledge of finding a book in the library.

This class should end with a review of the objectives and students should be asked if they feel that the objectives were met. This information should be tabulated in order to supply accountability for this course. Reviewing the objectives will also help parents to do self-exploration of this topic.

The values of each participant may vary. However, as a whole, the Hispanic community encourages children and young adults to respect their elders and to value the wisdom and advice given by the elders in the family. In most Hispanic families, if Grandma tells you to do something or to hand her something, the best thing for the child to do is to get up and at least attempt to do the task. If the child does not move when asked to do something, the parent or older sibling will scold the child or make the child do the task. In my family, I was never taught Spanish, therefore, when grandma asked me to do something, I would look at my mom to translate while I was getting up to do the task. In America, the young often ignore the elderly or disrespect them. Many times I have seen "young adults" and children talk down to their grandparents or have told them to mind their own business.

Celebrations are very important to the Hispanic community. Not only are they an opportunity for family to get together, but is an opportunity for rejoicing. Religious celebrations hold an important place in most Hispanic families’ lives. The Quincenera is an important step in a young woman’s life; it is a rite of passage, a step into womanhood.

All members of the family are expected to attend family celebrations unless they have a good reason for not coming. There are many celebrations that are not listed in the vocabulary. Participants should be encouraged to add to the list, as each family may have different things they celebrate. Video footage is included to illustrate many of the family celebrations.

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This file is in Adobe Acrobat format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it here for free. Using Acrobat Reader, you can print out the handouts and photocopy them as much as you need to.

Module 1 Handouts

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Slide Show

These files are in Microsoft PowerPoint format. If you do not have PowerPoint on your computer, you can download the PowerPoint Viewer for free from Microsoft (Windows version / Mac version).

Module 1a Slide Show
Module 1b Slide Show

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