Directions - Each person in your biofamily fill this worksheet out

1) Get in groups of three to five. Suggestions:

  •  Real-life partners should be in different groups.

  •  Pick people you know least well in this seminar.

  •  Take your materials with you.

  •  If you have a fifth person, add a relative or a third child to the biofamily you build.

  •  Pick a spokesperson to introduce your “biofamily” (small group) to the large group, after the role-play. 

2) Each person pick a role: design yourselves into a first-marriage biological family by picking first and last names, ages, occupations, dwelling features, some key roles, and some features of your standard Thanksgiving celebration. Record these on this worksheet (below).

      For wider learning, pick a different role than your real-life family role - e.g. male <-> fe-male; Mom <-> Dad; adult -> child. Have fun with this, and be realistic about your family-de-sign choices - e.g. a family income under $75,000/year. Note: everyone in your "family" should have the same worksheet entries. You’ll use your worksheets in later parts of the role-play. 

3) Define Your members: Pick first names and a common last name. Kids' ages should be between five and 13. "Other" can be a third child, a live-in relative, or an observer.

First and Last Names



Adult 1:




Adult 2:




Child 1 :




Child 2:




Other :




Your family religion, if any: _____________________   Members attend church?  Y / N 

Your gross family income: $ _____,000 / month.

Adults' ethnic heritage/s ____________________________________________________

Family pets, if any (kind/s & names) ____________________________________________

Your family location and dwelling: (  ) city    (  ) suburb    (  ) small town   (  ) farm

_  house _  apartment or condo (which floor? ____)  _  2-flat  _  other: _________________

# of floors: _____   # of bedrooms: _____   # of bathrooms _____  Is there a garage? _____

Fireplace/s? _____    Porch(es)? _____    Family (recreation) room? _____? 

Air-conditioned?  Y / N   Yards: _  none   _  small   _  medium   _  big

Responsibilities: in your household, who usually…

Takes out the garbage? ___________________________________________________ 

Does the laundry? ________________________________________________________

Pays the bills? ___________________________________________________________

Plans/cooks meals? ______________________________________________________ 

Buys the food: ___________________________________________________________

Makes child discipline rules? ________________________________________________

Enforces these rules? _____________________________________________________

Makes the major family decisions? ___________________________________________


Special Factors

Note anything special that currently affects your biofamily members – e.g. someone has a significant health problem, a financial problem, a pregnancy, a recent death, a new job, a graduation, an accident, an inheritance, a legal suit, … (Don’t overdo this…)




Favorite Family Events

1) _________________________________________________________________________

2) _________________________________________________________________________ 

3) _________________________________________________________________________

Usual Thanksgiving

Held where? ______________________________________________________________

Who comes? ______________________________________________________________


Normal arrival time: __________ Leave time: ____________

Who cooks? _______________________________________________________________

Main dishes / desserts: ______________________________________________________


Liquor/wine provided?  Y / N;  Church before or after eating?  Y / N.

Other traditions - prayers / photos / music / games...




Stop here. If you finish designing your first-marriage family before the other groups, add some family history: key memories, crises, events, hopes, and/or traditions. Highlight them below. Notice how this “inventing” process feels, and what thoughts, memories, and questions it brings up in you.




Thoughts/ feelings/ awarenesses from designing our first-marriage “family”:




Updated  October 06, 2011