Homelessness Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping teachers instruct students on factors surrounding homelessness. Students will explain the cause and effects of homelessness, and they'll complete a case study activity to better understand the homeless community.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on homelessness, students will be able to:

  • ask and answer questions about the causes of homelessness.
  • discuss the relationship between homelessness and domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental illness.
  • evaluate the effects of homelessness on society, including factors such as physical health, criminality, and economics.


90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.


Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.


  • abuse
  • homelessness
  • loss of income
  • low-income housing
  • neglect
  • poverty
  • poverty threshold
  • shelter
  • subsidized
  • substance abuse


Video & Discussion Questions

  • Preview vocabulary with students prior to watching the video lesson.
  • Watch What Is Homelessness? - Definition, Causes & Effects as a class, and discuss the following questions:
    • What is homelessness?
    • What are some of the causes of homelessness?
    • What is the poverty threshold?
    • What are some options available to homeless people?
    • Why aren't these solutions sufficient?
    • How does homelessness contribute to poor health?
    • What are some of the social problems communities face because of homelessness?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.
  • Check the answers as a class.

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