the be homeful project: pre-k lesson plan (ages 2-4)
The big idea
Having a home helps us feel safe and protected. We can work together to make sure everybody has a place to call home.
To explore the importance of having a home and discuss ways we can work together to make sure all children have places to live.
In the real world
We all know that having a home is important, but not everyone is lucky enough to have one. By allowing students to recognize the importance of a home, we are helping build a foundation for them to understand homelessness in the future.
Time frame: 30-40 minutes
To educate students about homelessness and encourage thoughtful community engagement.
CCS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.1, 1.A, 1.B, 2, 3
What makes a home? [Compelling question based on "what makes a community?"]
- "Paddington" by Michael Bond
- "When someone says home" paper
- be homeful activity kit to send home with students
- Experiencing homelessness vs. homeless person
- Rent, gas, groceries, heating
- Go over rules of discussion. Be respectful of other people's experiences (CIV K.4: Apply civic virtues when participating in school settings.) Supporting question:
- How can I listen and respond to my classmates' ideas?
- Follow agreed upon rules for discussions while responding attentively to others when addressing ideas and making decisions as a group. (CIV K.5)
- Warm up: Teacher hands out "When someone says home" worksheet.
- Students will have time to draw what makes them feel at home. (INQ K-2.1)
- What did you draw?
- What makes you feel at home?
- Why is having a home important?
- What does having a home provide to the people who live there? (Supporting question)
- What does my family do to cooperate? (Supporting question)
- Reading discussion and closure: Teacher reads chapter 1 of "A bear called Paddington."
- What did you notice about the story? Did Paddington have anywhere to stay when he got off the train at Paddington station?
- Paddington was homeless until the Brown family took him home with them (INQ K-2.15)
- How did you think Paddington felt when he did not have a place to call home?
- The Browns were a regular family who decided to help.
- How are the Browns part of their community? What do they offer? (CIV K.2)
- What can we do if we have a friend like Paddington who doesn't have somewhere to stay? (INQ K-2.16)
- In what ways can people contribute to their community? (Supporting question)
- Find a trusted adult. Who are our trusted adults? Teachers, parents, school nurse, etc.
- Their parents can call 211 for help.
- Draw a picture of what you would like to give to a person who doesn't have a home
Reinforce the distinction between "helping the homeless" and "ending homelessness" by holding a "marmalade drive" in honor of Paddington's favorite food. Kids can teach their families what they have learned and build the social safety net for children in their communities by collecting change for their local "be homeful" fund, which frontline workers from the shelter system can access to help local families facing imminent homelessness remain housed rather than enter the shelter system in the first place. You can order free supplies for your marmalade drive, including Paddington bookmarks and special Paddington Ambassador cards for children in your class, by filling out this form.
Win a visit from Paddington.
Paddington is coming to Connecticut! Raise money for your local be homeful fund and win a visit from our “spokesbear" himself. All classes who hold a drive will win a visit from our favorite bear and the class that raises the most will also win a visit from Paddington.
Start your class's marmalade drive here and be entered to win a visit from Paddington himself.