Without a Home
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.

Learners discuss the word homeless and how it is used in a sentence (as adjective and noun). After reading an article about homelessness by Anna Quindlen, they discuss a respectful way to use the language that describes a group of people who are vulnerable.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • read and respond to an essay about homelessness by Anna Quindlen.
  • reflect on how our use of language can show respect for people.
  • Learner copies of Anna Quindlen's "Homeless" article: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://gavinadair.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/homeless.pdf
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Discuss what part of speech the word "homeless" is (noun, verb, adjective) and have them support their choice. Listen to a few answers and discuss and compare. It isn’t necessary to come to a consensus as some will think it is an adjective and some will think it is a noun, and both answers can be correct. Tell them that the essay they are about to read will provide a perspective on this word.

  2. Distribute copies of "Homelessness" by Anna Quindlen (See Materials above). They read the essay silently or aloud in small groups.

  3. Discuss:

    • Why might using the word homeless as a noun be insensitive or keep us from action?
    • What is a respectful way to react when we see a person who is homeless? (Ignore? Judge? Be friendly?) Why?
    • What might be some appropriate acts? (Give money? Share food? Donate money or resources to a shelter?)
    • In what way can we show respect for people who are vulnerable?
    • What other groups have we marginalized into nouns or issues rather than people?

Exit ticket: Write a paragraph explaining your rational for which terminology is more respectful: "a person who is homeless" or "a homeless person"?