How Many Are Homeless?
Crestwood Elementary School

This lesson integrates objectives in math and social studies.
Fifth and second grade buddies learn about the number of homeless people in the surrounding community and the possible hardships they face.
These students are empowered through knowledge to explore ways they can help the homeless in the community.

Students will read and interpret data on the number of homeless people living in St. Charles County, MO.
Students will collaborate with a buddy partner to create a double bar graph or a line graph.
Students will identify the increase or decrease of homelessness in one year.
Students will share bar graphs using Elmo (document camera.)
Students will reflect of the possible reasons for fewer homeless people.
Students will write a list of questions to ask the director of Gateway 180, a short-term emergency shelter for women and their dependent children located in downtown St. Louis.
Graph paper (one piece per each buddy pair)
Rulers, pencils
Copies of table showing data homeless population in St. Charles County for two consecutive years
Elmo (document camera) and projector
“Reflection Connection” journals (individual journals each student in the school utilizes)
Paper on clipboards for questions to ask the director of Gateway 180
On previous buddy days, students have read aloud and discussed Uncle Willie and The Soup Kitchen by DyAnne DiSalvo (1997, HarperCollins). They reflected on the needs and hardships of
homeless people in every community.
After completing the graphing unit in math, fifth grade students will be paired with
their second grade buddies. Second graders will have learned how to make and read basic bar graphs and line graphs using age-appropriate data.
Students will discuss the homeless data and create double bar graphs. Teachers will be circulating offering assistance as needed.
Students will take turns sharing their bar graphs on the Elmo as time allows.
Based on the conclusions drawn from the data ( i.e. increase or decrease in homelessness in a year) students will reflect on possible causes and record these reflections in their “Reflection Connection” journals.
Buddies will share their reflections with one another.
In anticipation of the visit from the director of a homeless shelter, buddies will create a list of questions to ask the director of the homeless shelter in order to guide the discussion.
Volunteer students will collect and consolidate the questions and email them to the Gateway 180 in preparation for the visit.
Back in their classrooms, individuals will have a class meeting to share reflections.
After the presentation from Gateway, students will be able to plan their next steps for moral action.
Fifth grade teacher will assess bar graphs.
Teachers will observe buddy participation.