Homeless Shelter Project
Fox Middle School

Students brainstorm ideas. They discuss what may be most necessary in a homeless shelter. Teacher lists ideas on the board. Teacher explains the concept of scale to students and gives a visual representation in one area of the classroom. Students then get graph paper to design the layout of the homeless shelter to scale. Students must label the dimensions of each room and provide the area and perimeter for each section. Students present their completed designs to the class.

Students will research needs of people who utilize homeless shelters.
Students will brainstorm how to fill those needs.
Students will create a blueprint of a homeless shelter.
Students will partner with architects from the community.
Graph paper
Pencils
Colored pencils
This project was completed as part of a cross-curricular unit on poverty and homelessness. Students participated in numerous poverty simulations, fixed-income budget activities, and research on homelessness statistics. They also read fictional and poetic accounts of homelessness. As a result, they came to this project with access to a wealth of prior knowledge on what concerns might be most prevalent. To aid the students in understanding what is necessary to design a community building, a local architect came to speak to the students.
This preparation by many other team members supported the students’ efforts in brainstorming ideas. They discuss what may be most necessary in a homeless shelter. Once the list is complete, the teacher explains the concept of scale to students and gives a visual representation in one area of the classroom. Students then get graph paper to design the layout of the homeless shelter to scale. Students must label the dimensions of each room as well as provide the area and perimeter for each section. Students present their completed designs to the class. The architect may come back at the end of this project to reflect on the students’ design choices. Students then reflect on the feedback and their own feelings about the project.
Students were evaluated through a rubric which included items such as: Correct measurements, Accurate scale, Content relevance, Neatness, and Presentation.