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Erase Shivering

In winter, children in low-income families may lack warm coats, hats, or mittens. How can you help erase shivering with clothes and fuel that people need to stay warm?

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. It’s not my day to wear the coat, was the answer when a teacher asked a child about her coat one winter day. People who live on low incomes often do not have basic items such as warm clothing. Imagine how cold it would be in a wintry climate without a coat, hat, and mittens!
    2. Discuss with student about how poverty affects families during winter. What are some ways to help them obtain warm clothing and fuel? All of us are responsible to help each other!
    3. Students sketch their solutions to this social problem with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Perhaps you could adapt symbols from familiar books about low-income families. For example, to make a patchwork coat, erase dotted lines across the patches to look like stitching. Erase circles along the edge to show buttons. Color the poster with Erasable Colored Pencils and erase highlights.
    4. Use Crayola Multicultural Markers to color people. Add shiny areas to the miniposter with Crayola Twistables. Include compelling words. Where will you post your message to encourage people to take action?
  • Standards

    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: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    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

    Many organizations sponsor coat giveaways. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) collects unwanted fur coats and gives them to people in need. Other groups collect coats for residents of Native American reservations. Students research other organizations that recycle new or used coats. Summarize your presentation in electronic format for presentation to classmates. Include in your presentation a format for organizing a school coat drive.

    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.

    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.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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