Family Chart

Subject: Social Studies—Family Science

Grade: 9-12

Topic: Apsáalooke Family Structure

Content: Students will learn about Apsáalooke family structure.

Goals: Students will gain a better understanding of the Apsáalooke family structure by completing their own family chart.


Social Studies Standard 4: Students demonstrate an understanding of the effects of time, continuity, and change on historical and future perspectives and relationships.

Social Studies Standard 6: Students demonstrate an understanding of the impact of human interaction and cultural diversity on societies.

Essential Understanding 1: There is great diversity among the 12 tribal Nations of Montana in their languages, cultures, histories and governments. Each Nation has a distinct and unique cultural heritage that contributes to modern Montana.

Essential Understanding 2: There is great diversity among individual American Indians as identity is developed, defined and redefined by entities, organizations and people. A continuum of Indian identity, unique to each individual, ranges from assimilated to traditional. There is no generic American Indian.

Essential Understanding 3: The ideologies of Native traditional beliefs and spirituality persist into modern day life as tribal cultures, traditions, and languages are still practiced by many American Indian people and are incorporated into how tribes govern and manage their affairs. Additionally, each tribe has its own oral histories, which are as valid as written histories. These histories pre-date the “discovery” of North America.

Objectives: After completing this lesson students will know the basics of Apsáalooke family kinship.


Family Diagram Handout [PDF]

Lesson plan, Chapter on Apsáalooke kinship, and copies of blank chart and instructions.

Introduction: Apsáalooke people identify their family charts differently than most of their Montana neighbors. Anthropologists classify Apsáalooke family identification as matrilineal with patrilocal residence rules. As with all cultures, identification can vary from family to family. That being said this information and chart instructions will certainly offer students a better understanding of Apsáalooke society.

Development: Students will see the diversity of kinships systems among Montana cultures.

Practice: Students will complete family charts using instructions and discuss the utility of such a system. It is likely many of their family structures actually operate in a similar manner. Students can discuss what such labels as brother, sister, auntie, uncle, cousin, mean to them. Discussion of how people with those labels function in their family should ensue. Most students may not have had any prior knowledge of different cultures’ kinship systems. Consider a discussion of this factor as well.

Checking for Understanding/Evaluation: Students will hand in family charts. Students will identify at least three differences in the Apsáalooke kinship system as opposed to the kinship system followed in other families.

Closure: Students will discuss the differences in kinship systems and relate how these may change a person’s world view.

Lesson Plan Nuts and Bolts