Homelessness (ages 12-13)

This issue based scheme of work looks at the problem of homelessness and how it affects society. The emotional effects on the homeless, their families and passers by are understood through the use of dramatic techniques including improvisation, mime, frozen pictures, split scenes and thought-aloud. The tale of a teenage runaway is developed by the class and used as a device to provide depth to their work.

This scheme of work contains 6 drama lesson plans.

  • Lesson 1: Understanding Homelessness. The problem of homelessness is introduced through a short ‘true or false’ factual quiz. Groups devise frozen pictures from a set of powerful images supported with a thought aloud.
  • Lesson 2: Point of View. The class looks at different perspectives on the problem, performing as both people living on the street and passers by.
  • Lesson 3: Chris’s Story. A fictional character is used to delve into the minds of teenage runaways, using thought tapping and improvisation to explore their rationale. The lesson concludes with the students devising a scene as Chris and his family.
  • Lesson 4: The Good Samaritan. Students look at some of the dangers on the street through the ambiguous motives of a helpful stranger.
  • Lesson 5: Family and Friends. The emotions of those close to the runaway are examined using frozen pictures and split scenes.
  • Lesson 6: Assessment Lesson. Groups devise a documentary/public information film about Chris’s situation using mime, a sound collage and a thought aloud. The assessment piece is filmed and self-evaluated by the students.

Supporting Materials include

  • 10 Facts about Homeless People (Quiz)
  • Images of Homeless People

Additional resources are included in the Appendices

  • Basic Drama Skills Sheet
  • End of Unit Assessment Form

The document is supplied as a PDF file, readable on most computers.

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