Home Away from Home (Grade 2)

K, 1, 2

Students listen to and respond to stories about being homeless and helping others. They make Home Away from Home Fleece Scarves and donate them to a local shelter.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 60 minute class period

The learners will:

  • recognize vocabulary words in context.
  • listen to and respond to a literature story.
  • define service.
  • discuss the importance of care for the homeless.
  • experience service by making Home Away from Home Fleece Scarves and donating them to a local shelter.
  • Read aloud copy of Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
  • Fleece, enough to cut approximately 5" x10" scarves, one for each class member
  • Fabricmarkers
  • Letter stencils (optional)
  • Construction paper
Teacher Preparation 

During the teaching of this lesson, be sensitive to the possibility that there might be some children who are homeless in your class or who have had other personal experience with homelessness.


service: to provide a community or organization with something that it needs
donate: to give or present something, especially to a charitable organization or other good cause
homeless: someone who has lost their home, or someone who lacks permanent housing

Bunting, Eve. Fly Away Home. Sandpiper, 1993. ISBN: 978-0395664155


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the students what they would miss the most if they had to suddenly leave their home.Discuss the importance and value of homes and familiar surroundings.

  2. Show the book Fly Away Home. Ask the students if they have ever taken a trip away from home. Ask: How did it feel to arrive home again? Have the students predict what the story might be about.

  3. Ask these question during and after reading the book aloud:

    • What does it mean to be homeless?
    • How did homelessness affect Andrew and his dad?
    • What might it feel like if each night you had to find a new place to sleep and sometimes were left without one?
    • Do you think that most people who become homeless remain that way for a long period of time or a short period of time? How does this change your perspective?
    • How can we help people who are homeless?
  4. Review with students that in Martin's Big Words, they learned about how one person can make a difference through service. In Fly Away Home, they learned that we can help others who may become homeless.

  5. Explain to students that they will make Home Away from Home Fleece Scarves that they can donate to a shelter of their choice.

  6. Review the concept of philanthropy: "giving time, talent and treasure for the common good." Explain to students that they have an opportunity to practice giving their time, talent, and treasure (a hand-made scarf) by making and donating (giving) the scarves to a homeless shelter.

  7. Point out that making the Home Away from Home Fleece Scarves demonstrates service through the kind act of reminding homeless individuals that they are cared for by others. It also gives them a token of comfort that they may take with them while they are homeless.

  8. To make the scarves, distribute one piece of fleece to each student.

  9. Using a ruler, have students measure 1-inch intervalson the short ends of their scarves. Instruct them to carefully cut 1-inch wide fringe the length of one scissor cut (3-4 inches).

  10. Allow students to decorate their scarf with a theme such as snow flakes or smiley faces using the fabric markers. Students can write a caring message onthe scarf using letter stencils, if available.

  11. Ask students to brainstorm messages they could use on a card to accompany the gift of the scarf. (Examples: "Here's a Smile Coming your Way!" Or "I hope that you have a Great Day!") Write their suggestions in a display area.

  12. Have the students create a card including illustrations and a positive message. The cards maybe tied to the scarves with ribbon to make a beautiful presentation.

  13. Share with the students several options of where they could donate the scarves (look under Social Service in the yellow pages for options) and help the students come to consensus about which organization(s) will receive their donated scarves.

  14. Donate completed package (scarf and card) to the chosen recipients. Take pictures (if appropriate) for students to view in reflecting on their service.

  15. Reflection is a key component of service-learning that adds meaning to the experience. Ask students how they felt about donating their scarves and how their gift impacted the recipients.

Cross Curriculum 

The students make Home Away from HomeFleece Scarvesand donate them to a local shelter of their choice.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
    3. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify outcomes from the service.