Family Meetings and the “Speaking and Listening” Standard


Do you have family meetings? Research shows that having weekly family meetings can be beneficial for children of all ages. They allow children to have a voice, to have a forum for sharing ideas and asking questions, and to learn basic meeting etiquette. Children learn to take turns when speaking, to ask questions appropriately, and to plan for the future while reviewing the past. Family meetings can also help children apply learning from the Common Core Standard on Speaking and Listening.

This is the Speaking and Listening Standard for Fourth Grade, copied from See below for books and activities regarding family meetings.

Comprehension and Collaboration

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1a Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1b Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1c Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1d Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.2 Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.3 Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.


  • Family Meetings, John L. Ward and Craig E. Arnolt
  • Our Family Meeting Book, Elaine Hightower, Betsy Riley, and Michele Borba
  • Character Building within the Family Meeting Diary, Jean Tracy
  • Clementine and the Family Meeting, Sara Pennypacker and Marla Frazee


  1. Family Meetings. Hold a weekly family meeting to discuss what went well during the previous week, what you can work on in the coming week, and to plan events and meals. Incorporate a thank you or compliment circle.
  2. Create a Family Motto. Decide as a family what is most important. Work together and include everyone. Can you create a logo to go with your motto?
  3. List of Rules. Using the “Speaking and Listening” standard, create a list of rules for family meetings. Work on one rule each week.
  4. New Year Goals. At the beginning of the year, create a list of goals for the family. Include serious and fun goals and post in a prominent place.
  5. Family Chores. Regularly review the family chore list to make sure that everyone helps out at home. Agree together on when and how chores will be completed. Write down the list of chores and the rules and post the list so everyone can review them regularly.

Family meetings provide a way for families to connect and grow while supporting school learning and the Common Core Standards. For younger children, it often helps to point out that school learning can be applied at home and that Family Meetings are very similar to group projects at school.


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