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Lesson Plans Created by TeachNet Adaptor Grants
Little Hands Help The Homeless
Name: Marisa Loccisano
School: P.S. 124
Address: 40 Division Street
City: New York, NY, 10002
Original Project: Little Hands Help The Homeless
Author: Jennifer Rosher
URL: http://bostonTeachNet.org/rosher/rosher.htm

How did you modify this unit for use in your own classroom?: The unit planned by Jennifer was intended for second graders. I modified this unit by making it first grade friendly. I chose a read aloud not recommended from this site that I knew was understandable for six and seven year olds. The children had little knowledge on homeless people, so we connected every lesson with 2 characters in this book. By the end of the unit, the children were very active in wanting to understand the homeless and how we can, as a community, reach out to help them.

List your primary instructional objectives for your students.

  Understand the importance of needs vs. wants in order to live.
  Come together as a community to educate people about homeless people.
  Collect, sort and deliver clothing collections for our homeless drive.
  Define the meaning of homeless.

What role did technology play in this curriculum unit?: I used technology to aid in my planning of this unit. Using the Internet, I found relevant read-alouds and homeless shelters that can collect our donations. To help disect the book, "A Shelter in Our Car," the following web site was used: http://familycares.org/authorinterviews/authorInterviewMonicaGunning.cfm http://homesforthehomeless.com/index.asp?CID=1&PID=8 Was used to gain information on statistics related to homeless families in New York. In addition, this site gave me information on how the community reaches out to these people and how our school community can help.

How did you assess and evaluate student performance?: I assessed my students by creating individual KWL charts. These charts gave me information on what they knew before the unit and what they learned from the unit.

Please tell us briefly about your background & teaching experience: Marisa Loccisano has been teaching at P.S. 124 in the first grade since September 2005. She graduated from Touro Collge with her a dual master's in elementary education and special education.

What are your recommendations for other teachers interested in adapting this unit?: This was a fun unit because the children really enjoy getting together to help people in need. For first grade children, I highly recommend connecting these lessons with characters in a story; it motivates children as they feel a special connection to these characters.

Samples of Student Projects

  Students read "A Shelter in Our Car" by Monica Gunning. From this book students get to know two characters that are homeless. Children brainstorm things people need in order to live; things that these two characters were not able to have due to their living conditions.
  Students check off items distinguishing them as a need and a want. They begin to understand the importance of needs. They pose questions concerning life without these needs.
  needs vs. wants.pdf
  Students define homeless. This is the very first assignment in the unit. It gives me an understanding of what the children know and what I want them to learn.


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