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Lessons - High School

Provide students with an understanding of the importance of shelter as a basic human need
Help them develop an understanding of the wide-ranging effects of homelessness and the lack of proper housing and why some people need housing assistance. With this understanding, students will be more likely to empathize with people who live in these situations and develop the desire to give back to the community.

Teacher’s Overview
This program allows students in grades 9–12 to uncover information about the social, economic, geographic and political causes surrounding poverty housing and homelessness.

Unit 1: Economics, Government, and Housing
Designed to align with the curriculum in a high school government or economics class, Unit 1 helps students make deeper connections with regard to how economic and government decisions and policies affect individuals.

Unit 2: Current Poverty Housing and Homelessness Issues
In this unit, students analyze specific initiatives that different communities have adopted and might adopt to address the issues that surround poverty housing and homelessness.

Unit 3: Geographic Influences on Homebuilding
In Unit 3, students gather information about the geography and local building materials used in a particular country and design a Habitat house appropriate to that country.

In the Wake of Disaster
In this lesson, students will learn about natural disasters that have devastated communities worldwide and the components that go into Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to rebuild. In small groups, students will generate a slide presentation about these subjects.

Green Homes
In this lesson, students will learn about sustainable building practices Habitat for Humanity supports. Students will generate a diagram to explain an aspect of green building and then create a proposal for a green initiative.

Making Connections
In this lesson, students will learn about social media websites, marketing, and Habitat for Humanity’s goals, and combine this knowledge to analyze how social media sites can help nonprofits attract attention and gain support. In pairs, students will create a marketing proposal that will challenge them to consider how Habitat for Humanity can continue to harness the power of social media to get people involved in the organization.

Words of Action
In this lesson, students will learn about how Habitat for Humanity proposes and supports legislative efforts that affect poverty housing. Students will draft and present a mock testimony before a panel.

Building a Community
In this lesson, students will learn about Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) and how it goes beyond simply helping individual homeowners. It takes a broader approach, making contributions that will improve the bonds, station, and morale of an entire community. In groups, students will research a single facet of a hypothetical NRI project in detail and make a wedge-shaped poster on the topic. Student groups will assemble their posters so they create a circle, and they will discuss how individual initiatives together make for holistic, widespread change in a community.

Financial Matters
In this lesson, students will learn about basic components of personal finances and financial education. Students will create a board game that illustrates financial concepts and donate it to a Habitat for Humanity affiliate or community center.

Before and After
In this lesson, students will learn about families who have worked with Habitat for Humanity to attain safe and affordable housing. Students will read articles and interviews about the lives of three different families around the world and the hardships they faced. Students will discover how having a Habitat home has improved their lives. Besides educating students on Habitat for Humanity’s projects, this lesson will emphasize the comparative housing needs and challenges of different world areas. Finally, students will collaborate to create and post blog entries about a fictional Habitat for Humanity project in a different country.

Financing Change
In this lesson, students will discover how microfinance differs from conventional loans and how—unlike with traditional bank loans—individuals can contribute to microfinance and make a difference in the life of someone living in poverty. Students will learn how Habitat for Humanity uses housing microfinance to help people improve their homes. Using the Habitat for Humanity website and other resources, students will work in groups to choose a country and research how to help a family in that country with a housing microfinance loan. The class will then select one group project and work together to put that group’s microfinance plan into action.