We Need Each Other (6th Grade)

6, 7, 8

Raise students' awareness of the issue of homelessness in the community and world. With a better understanding of their community's needs, students will be able to more effectively and efficiently determine their role in addressing community needs.

Printone 50-60 minute class period

The learner will:

  • define homelessness.
  • determine the extent of homelessness in the community by means of a survey assessment.
  • identify ways to address the issues of homeless in the community.
  • a service experience that addresses an issue of homelessness inthe community.
  • Learner copies of Attachment One: Homeless Needs Survey
  • Internet Connection and Display
Home Connection 

Encourage the learners to share with their families what they have learned about homelessness in their community and discuss ways that as a family they might be able to help alleviate some of the needs that the homeless have.


“My experience during this service activity was like____________because_________________” 





    <p style="\&quot;text-align:" left;\"="">(Teacher Note: It is important to contact an agency or individual from your community who is familiar with or works with homeless people to set up a time when they can come to speak with your class about homelessness in the community, as well as share some ways that the learners might help the homeless in the community.) Anticipatory Set: As the learners enter the classroom have the following question displayed for them to consider:"Approximately how many people do you think are without homes world-wide? (Possible answers 100,000; 1,000,000; 10,000,000; 100,000,000 or 1,000,000,000?" ). After the learners have responded with their estimates, display this web site for their viewing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessor given them a printout with the information on it for them to read.After the learners have had time to read the definition of homelessness and discover the estimated number of homeless people world wide, show a video clip to help them visualize the life, face, and hardships of homelessness. See Bibliographical References to find sources for video clips.

  2. Have the learners respond to the following questions:

    • What determines whether or not someone is considered homeless?
    • What did you learn about homelessness that you might not have known before?
    • Did you correctly identify the estimated number of homeless people worldwide? Why or why not?
    • In what ways can being homeless also be dangerous?
    • How many homeless people would you estimate to be living in our own community?
    • Are you familiar with any organizations in our community that try to help homeless people find shelter? Can you name them?
  3. Distribute Attachment One: Homeless Needs Survey to each learner.

  4. Assign the learners to groups of three and have them complete the survey based on their prior knowledge.

  5. Once the survey has been completed and there is consensus in each group, have a spokesperson from each group share their groups responses and rational for their answers.

  6. Introduce the guest speaker and have that person share the story of homelessness in the community, and some of the ways the class might be able to help meet some of the needs of the homeless in their community.

  7. Conclude this class period by having the learners consider the suggestions for meeting some of the needs of the homeless that came from the group presentations as well as those that came from the speaker. Have the learners choose one or two things they will do as a class or as individuals to help address these needs.


Learner's participation in group discussions. Learner's participation in group work. Learner's attention to the web-site displays and guest speaker(s).

Cross Curriculum 

Come to a class concensus about one way to address the needs of homeless persons.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Describe how different needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society, and family.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.