Erase Homelessness

Erase Homelessness lesson plan

Use bold colors to make a statement as strong as the walls needed to house the homeless! Help erase one of the challenges facing all of us today.

  • 1.

    Ask students to imagine not having a home. In the United States alone, there are more than one million children who are homeless each year. Not all homeless people live in shelters (many rural areas don’t have shelters). Lots of homeless people live in crowded spaces with family and friends.

  • 2.

    Students continue learning about homelessness. How can people work together to find homes for families without their own places to go? Start a lively class discussion about the challenges people face.

  • 3.

    On paper, draw your ideas to erase homelessness with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Studnts might be inspired by Habitat for Humanity and draw volunteers raising a shelter with a homeless person. Use the eraser to create depth and structure in the presentation.

  • 4.

    Place the paper on a rough surface. Rub the background with Crayola Twistables to add the look of wood or other textures to your poster. Outline the poster with a colorful border, such as carpentry tools. Post the poster to share the concerns about homelessness with the community.


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grade level complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing one's own clearly.
  • SS: Show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so.
  • SS: Give examples of how government does or does not provide for the needs and wants of people, establish order and security, and manage conflict.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.


  • Possible classroom resources include: Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting; Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting; Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan; The Dust Bowl Through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Helped Remedy a National Disaster by Martin W. Sandler; The Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History by Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan
  • Small groups of students investigate homelessness in their community. Interview a local politician to gather statistics and research steps being take to alleviate or eliminate homelessness in your community. Organize research into an electronic presentation for classmates to view.
  • Students research Habitat for Humanity. What difference has it made in the past quarter century by creating permanent housing for nearly a million homeless people around the world? Invite a local HH representative to speak to the class. Prior to the visit, students compose questions for the guest. After the meeting, students post learning and reactions to a class blog.
  • Research how groups such as the National Coalition for the Homeless and other agencies collect statistics on the topic. Compare figures from government and non-profit organizations. Why is it so difficult to count people who are homeless? How do these issues affect the search for solutions?
  • Find a homeless shelter in or near your community. Compose questions for an interview with someone who is in charge of the shelter. Consider volunteering for a day at the shelter and post your observations and learning to a class blog.