Homelessness Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Increase student awareness and understanding of homelessness with help from this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that describes facts about homelessness, discuss content, and plan an outreach method specific to your community.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'homelessness'
  • describe homelessness in the US and around the world
  • explore homelessness in local communities and make a plan for an outreach


1 hour for core lesson; additional time needed to complete outreach


Key Vocabulary

  • Homeless
  • Shelters
  • Refugees

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2

Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Prepare students for the lesson by speaking to them and reminding them of proper behavior and sensitivity to the topic. Review expectations and standards.
  • Give students five minutes to write what they know about homelessness in their notebooks.
  • Have students title a page in their notebooks 'Homelessness' and create subcategories for 'Who, What, When, Where, Why, How.'

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