Professional Development

November 4, 2023

Celebrating Family Traditions: Needs and Wants Activities, Plus Technology

In today’s digital age, teaching children about needs and wants while navigating the ever-expanding world of technology has proven difficult. As educators, we know that helping our little learners understand the difference between needs and wants is a crucial life skill. Even more, with kids being surrounded by smartphones, tablets, and smart gadgets at home and school, it’s essential to teach them how to use these things responsibly. As families and technology are ever-changing, our teaching will be, too. Grab your colorful markers and let’s dive into teaching needs, wants, and how technology has changed things. We’ll look at different needs and wants activities, plus learn about and celebrate family traditions as we discuss needs and wants in our families!

Needs and Wants Activities

As technology continues to advance, the concept of needs and wants within families has undergone quite a transformation. What we, in our childhood viewed as a want our kids now see as a need. In the past, needs often revolved around basic necessities like food, shelter, and clothing, while wants were more focused on material things we could live without. I’m not so sure our kids would say the same, though.

Begin by talking about the basic definitions of these words: needs and wants. Have students think about their families, things they truly need, and things they truly want.

Technology Changes Things

However, in the digital age, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, blurring the lines between needs and wants. Access to smartphones, internet connectivity, and gadgets has become a near necessity for many families.

Discuss with your students how technology is impacting how they allocate their resources and prioritize their spending. How does it change their daily life from doing chores to things they think they cannot live without?

Celebrating Families’ Traditions

Celebrating and getting to know the family traditions of students in our classroom is important for teachers. It not only creates a sense of belonging and inclusivity but also helps foster a supportive and respectful classroom community.

By acknowledging and understanding the unique customs, holidays, and cultural practices of each other, we can provide a more enriching and personalized educational experience. This helps promote diversity, empathy, and a deeper connection among the students.

You can begin by discussing various customs and traditions that families celebrate. Then, have students write and draw about something special their family does. Students can then share this with another student in class as they learn about one another! This is such a wonderful way to build classroom community. If you are looking for more ways to build a classroom community, check out this blog post.

If you are looking for ready-to-go activities to help you incorporate celebrating family traditions, needs and wants activities, technology in our families, and how our families work together, grab this teacher-loved unit!

Grab Needs and Wants Activities HERE!

How do you teach about needs and wants in families and celebrate family traditions in your classroom? I’d love to hear more in the comments below!

Happy Teaching,


Free Guided Reading Resource Cards

Free Guided Reading Resource Cards to help you plan your time and teach each group on their instructional level.

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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