Lesson Title: Homeless
Curriculum Area: English Language Arts
Technology Strand: Keyboard Util./Desktop Pub./Word Processing
Grade Level: 8
Essential Question: What stereotypes define a home?
A Activity Summary Students will be analyzing Anna Quindlen's "Homeless" while relating personal thoughts about their home using a concept map.
C Curriculum Language Arts
1.04 Reflect on learning experiences by:
  • evaluating how personal perspectives are influenced by society, cultural differences, and historical issues.
  • appraising changes in self throughout the learning process.
  • evaluating personal circumstances and background that shape interaction with text.
T Technology Keyboard Util./Desktop Pub./Word Processing
3.05 Select and use WP/DTP features/functions to develop, edit/revise, and publish documents/assignments.  
Activating Strategies
Two Minute Talks
Read aloud the picture book, "Fly Away Home" by Eve Bunting to students. If there is access to an ELMO document camera, use it to read the book to students. After reading the picture book aloud, have students discuss for two minutes the meaning of home, the book, and the stereotypes associated with where they live.
During Two Minute Talks, students will share with a partner by brainstorming everything they already know (prior knowledge) about "home." In doing so, they are establishing a foundation of knowledge in preparation for learning new information about the skill, topic, or concept.
Topic: How do you define home? How do the father and son define home? What sterotypes are associated with your home? Procedure:
  1. Group students into pairs.
  2. Inform students that they will each be talking about the topic for two minutes. They will need to select which student will begin first. An easy way to do this is to say something like: "Find out whose birthday comes first in a calendar year." Then tell students that, "That person gets to go second!"
  3. Using a stop watch or other timing device, tell students to begin talking.
  4. At two minutes, instruct students to switch. At this point, the other partner begins talking. It is okay for the second person to repeat some of the things the first person said. However, they are encouraged to try and think of new information to share.
  5. Have a few groups share some of their responses with the entire class when the activity is done.
Technology Vocabulary: Multimedia Vocabulary
Detailed Technology Instructions:
Cognitive Teaching Strategies
  1. The essay may be downloaded from the link below in Resources. Download and print the essay, "Homeless" by Anna Quindlen if it is not available in the student textbook.
  2. Read the essay to the students. Be sure to cover stereotypes and what home means to the author.
  3. Explain to the class that they will create a venn diagram comparing and contrasting traditional and non-traditional views of home.
  4. Tell them they will be using the Inspiration software in order to create the diagram.
  5. In the computer lab, make sure that each student has the following: computer and a brief list of what "home" means to them based on their answers from the Two Minute Talks.
  6. Model for students the step by step instructions of how to open Inspiration and the Venn Diagram template.
  7. On side of the diagram will be Traditional views of home and on the other Non-Traditional views of home. They are to think back to the picture book, the talks,the essay, and their background knowledge for things that mean home, stereotypes, what others think home is, etc. to go in the diagram.
  8. Tell the students that they will have 20 minutes to create their own Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two views of home.
Summary Strategies
Four Box Synectics
Description: Synectics promotes fluid and creative thinking by "making what is familiar strange," or comparing two things that would not ordinarily be compared. Synectics, a term coined by industrial psychologists Williams Gordan and George Prince, was originally used as a problem-solving strategy. The term is formed from two Greek roots: syn, bringing together, and ectics, diverse elements.
  1. Bring in four household items or items from the classroom to use in this activity.
  2. Download and print (synectics.doc). Make enough copies for each student.
  3. Put students into small groups of 3-4.
  4. Place the name of one item in each of the four boxes.
  5. Reveal the sentence "A home is like a _____ because…" and allow groups three minutes to brainstorm sentences using each of the four items at least once. For example, HOme is like a paper clip, because it sometimes keeps families together. Students should try to complete as many sentences as they can in the time allotted.
  6. After three minutes, STOP.
  7. The final step is for each group to choose the two sentences they like the best to share with the rest of the class.
  8. Have each group share with the class their sentence.
  9. Wrap up the lesson by addressing the essential question and summarizing the lesson.
Click for directions on how to download files on a Windows computer. 
Picture book, "Fly Away Home" by Even Bunting
"Homeless" by Anna Quindlen http://www.miamisci.org/tec/mssstory.html
Inspiration Software
Microsoft Word Files
Re-teaching and Enrichment Activities

The concept for this lesson plan was submitted by 
LeAnne  Williams
Hairston Middle, Data last modified: 11/19/2003