Expanding the Family: Babies Documentary

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Expanding the Family: Babies Documentary

Course: HHS4U; Families in Canada

Teacher: Fairbloom

Timeframe: 135 minutes


This lesson provides the student with a different outlet for learning as the teacher puts aside the textbook and has the student observe Babies as she reflects on her knowledge from the unit.

Overall Expectations:

  • B3: The Development of Family and Parent-Child Relationships: demonstrate an understanding of theoretical perspectives and research on the development of family and parent-child relationships

  • C3: The Effects on Family and Parent-Child Relationships: demonstrate an understanding of factors that can affect decisions about whether to have and how to care for children, and of the impact of norms, roles, and social institutions on family and parent-child relationships

Learning Goals:

Specific Expectations:

  • B3.1 Describe the functions of the family, and explain the ways in which these functions are met in diverse family forms

  • C3.1 Explain a range of factors that can influence decisions about having children

  • C3.2 Analyze the ways in which caregiving responsibilities are carried out in diverse families

Building Activities

Success Criteria

Assessment AS/OF/FOR Learning



The teacher will review the assignment expectations and walk the student through the documentary handout.

The student will highlight important information on her handout.

Assessment FOR Learning:

The teacher will be observing the student’s ability to build upon her previous knowledge of the family, specifically expanding the family and parent-child relationships.

Assignment Handout

Babies Documentary:

Watch and pause for discussions.

The student is expected to watch and take notes



The student will have the weekend to work on the assignment.

Assessment OF Learning:

The student will have the weekend to answer questions about the documentary.

Assignment Handout


Film Reflection: Babies Documentary

Culture and Child Rearing

It is the job of parents to guide and educate children to become functioning members of society.  There are many different approaches to child rearing but research in this area has shown that there are six common goals of child rearing. Consider the following while watching the film “Babies”.

  1. Following instructions – the ability to follow parental and adult direction.

  2. Responsibility – completing daily household tasks.

  3. Achievement – meeting life’s milestones.

  4. Self-reliance – becoming responsible for oneself.

  5. Independence – developing self-motivation and direction.

  6. Nurturance – caring for others including family, friends and pets.

Meet the Babies from Babies!


Ponijao lives in Namibia with her family, including her parents and eight older brothers and sisters. Ponijao’s family is part of the Himba tribe, and lives in a small village with other families. Opuwao, Namibia is located in Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa.


Mari lives with her mother and father in Shibuya, a busy metropolitan area within Tokyo, at the center of all the city’s noise and excitement. Mari is an only child and lives a contemporary urban lifestyle.


Born in Mongolia, Bayarjargal, usually called “Bayar” for short, lives with his mother, father and older brother Delgerjargal (“Degi”) on their small family farm.

Bayanchandmani, Mongolia is located in Northern Asia, between China and Russia.

Hattie lives in San Francisco, born to very ecological, “green” parents. Both of Hattie’s parent are equally involved in her day-to-day life, fixing her meals, taking her to play groups and spending time with her around the house.


Babies provides an in-depth look at the ways babies are raised by their mothers across different cultures. There is a lot to learn in the film simply by watching the mothers interact with their children.


  1. What the filmmakers capture on film provides a unique perspective on the upbringing of each of the babies. While each story is unique, what are some universal themes that run through each child’s story? [Thinking: 4 marks] [Communication: 2 marks]

  2. In what way did this movie most impact you? What is the central theme you walked away with after viewing this film? [Knowledge: 1 marks] [Application: 2 marks] [Communication: 1 marks]

  3. There are a multitude of different philosophies about raising children. After watching this film have your thoughts on how to raise children changed at all? How and why? [Knowledge: 2 marks] [Thinking: 2 marks] [Application: 2 marks] [Communication: 2 marks]

  4. What impact did not inserting dialogue or subtitles have on your appreciation of the film? How would narrative have altered the film? [Application: 2 marks] [Communication: 1 mark]

  5. Beyond exploring the remarkable early stages of life for four babies, what did this movie help you explore and understand about all humans? [Knowledge: 2 marks] [Thinking: 2 marks] [Communication: 1 mark]

  6. What was the common thread that connected all the mothers in the film? [Knowledge: 1 mark] [Communication: 1 mark]

  7. What are the shared stages that all the babies and mothers experience in the film? [Knowledge: 1 mark] [Communication: 1 mark]

  8. Were you able to relate to a particular mother and child more than others? Why? [Application: 1 mark] [Communication: 2 marks]

  9. The family of each of the babies was selected before the child was born so the sex of the child was a surprise to not only the families, but the filmmakers. With three girls and one boy featured, did you notice any differences between the development of the boy and the development of the girls? [Knowledge: 2 marks] [Thinking: 2 marks] [Communication: 1 mark]

Knowledge: ____/9
Thinking: ____/10
Application: ____/7
Communication: ____/12
Total: ____/38

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