Leigh Davidson Leigh Davidson

Charity and Homelessness
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate, Prep Speaking level


In this lesson Ss will informally discuss the issues of begging and homelessness, pertaining to the current situation in Turkey and specifically concerning the Syrian refugee crisis. This will lead into a conversation about charity and how Ss can actively get involved in charitable acts, organizations, donations, etc. Two pre-lesson reading tasks will prepare Ss for multiple discussions on homelessness and how individuals--and the Government--should respond to the problem of begging and the homeless. Multiple read-and-respond (R&R) activities, and a video clip on a social experiment, will be utilized to inspire and guide PW/GW debate and discussion. The in-class conversations will also prepare Ss for an up-coming productive activity, a presentation on a group-selected charity and fundraising techniques, to be completed in the proceeding lesson.


Main Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity for freer speaking practice within the context of begging, homelessness, and charity.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity to use their gist and detailed reading skills for comprehension, while completing pre-lesson reading tasks.


Warmer/Lead-in: Homelessness (6-8 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB "HOMELESSNESS AND BEGGING." Elicit from the WC who gives money to beggars. Request a reason for why, or why not, the Ss give money to beggars. For those who are charitable to the homeless, clarify the criteria for their charity. How much do they give and when do they give? Are there certain situations in which they won't give? Write some of the Ss' answers on the WB.

Exposure (15-17 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading

Separate the WC into groups and distribute the HO on 'Differing Opinions of Beggars.' Instruct the Ss to read 4 different statements on beggars and begging. "Decide, in your groups, who is sympathetic and who is unsympathetic towards beggars and begging, based on their statements. Also, think about and discuss which statement is closest to your personal opinion on begging and why?" Bring the groups together for WC FB. --Focus on James Foster's opinionated statement. "Who thinks that most homeless people, and beggars, choose to be homeless and live the difficult life of begging?" Elicit the Ss' reasons for why, and why not, to the question. Bring up the T's own personal experiences of the homeless in Tempe, Phoenix, AZ and many of the cities in southern California and south Texas. --Focus on Edilson Gomes' opinionated statement. "Who thinks that the problem of homelessness and begging is connected with drugs and drug use?" Elicit the Ss' reasons for why, and why not, to the question. --Focus on Ana Martin's opinionated statement. "Who thinks that the government should be more involved in solving the problem of begging and helping the homeless?" Elicit the Ss' reasons for why, and why not, to the question.

Productive Activity: Make Them Visible (11-13 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Lead the WC through a thought-experiment: --"How do you feel when you see a homeless person?" Reference the previous GW activity, on 'Differing Opinions of Beggars.' "Do you do anything about those feelings?" --"If you were homeless, how would you feel and what would you do all day?" Write on the WB HIDDEN ISSUE and INVISIBLE. Elicit from the WC the following: "Is homelessness a 'hidden' issue for society and are homeless people 'invisible'?" Inform the WC that they are going to watch a video on this very issue. "You are going to watch a video on a social experiment. In this experiment, a person's family members (mother, father, uncle, cousin, etc.) are dressed up as homeless and placed on a sidewalk. The question is, does the [son/nephew/cousin] recognize the [mother/father/uncle/cousin], or do they walk past them? Watch what happens and the response from the participants in this experiment. Do they recognize their 'homeless' relative or not?" Youtube: Make Them Visible [3:34] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMw7zDr5JLo Following a viewing of the clip, elicit a general response from the WC. Do they think they would have also walked past their [mother/father/uncle/cousin]? What about the participants' responses? "Based on this social experiment, would we say that homeless people are 'visible' or 'invisible' to society?"

Productive Task: Charitable Police (15-17 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Reference the Ss to the pre-lesson reading task (on charitable police in London). Expand upon the pre-lesson comprehension questions [How are the British police 'helping' the homeless in this article?; Do you consider the 'help,' that the British police are providing, as a proper solution to the homelessness problem?] --"Based on this article, what do you think is the London Metropolitan police's general opinion about the homeless in London? Are they ignoring them, arresting them, or trying to help them?" (T's Answer: both arresting and trying to help them, depending on the situation) Refer to James Foster's opinionated statement, in the earlier activity. --"Do you think this approach, by the London police, actually encourages homeless people to continue to live on the streets and beg for money? Why or why not? Do you think the police can, and should, do more to help the homeless in London? How? Or why not?" In the Ss' groups, have them brainstorm and come up with at least 4 ways for how the government could help the growing homelessness problem that Turkey is currently facing (partly due to the Syrian refugee crisis). "What steps do you think the government should take to solve the growing problem of begging? How can the government help the homeless here in Turkey?" Following group discussion, bring everyone together for WC FB. Write some of the Ss' answers on the WB, under the header POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS.

Productive Task: Would You Help/Give? (15-17 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Provide the Ss with a list of different situations, in which people are asking for charitable donations and/or monetary assistance in some manner. Instruct the Ss, in pairs, to discuss and decide which situations they would give money, or offer their help, and why. Bring the WC together for FB and a response to each others' answers. Reference Ss to the pre-lesson reading task ('From A Consul House to an Estately Home'). --"Why can't Ann Naysmith live in her car in the neighborhood that she is parked in?" (T Answer: Naysmith's 'home' was negatively impacting the selling price of houses on the street it was parked on). Focus on the pre-lesson comprehension questions: --"How does the city counsel, in Chiswick, West London, respond to Naysmith's homeless situation? Do you agree or disagree with their response?" --"Compare the Chiswick city counsel's approach with the police's approach to homelessness in the 'Charitable Police' article. Which approach to homelessness do you think is better, and more appropriate, and why?" Highlight the fact that the council had offered to help Naysmith move into an apartment and she had refused, insisting on continuing to live in her car. Reference James Foster's opinionated statement from the earlier Exposure activity ('Differing Opinions on Beggars'). "Is Naysmith choosing to remain homeless at this point? Do you agree or disagree with her choice?"

Warmer/Lead-in: Charity (10-12 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB CHARITY and below the heading the following: "How much?; What kind?; Any you avoid?; Charity begins at home." Elicit from the Ss the following information: 1) "How much money do you give each year to charity? Nothing; Very Little; or More than one week's wages?" For those who answer that they do not monetarily donate--perhaps because they are Ss with little income--ask if they are planning on giving to charities in the future, when they are earning money regularly. 2) "Which charities do you give to? Local; National; or International?" Share the T's own charitable history, with the Humane Society of the United State (HSUS) (national) and Children International (international). 3) "Are there any charities you would not give to? Why not?" "How can we trust that the donated money actually funds the charitable act, and not just the charity organization (the business)?" Mention Charitynavigator.org. 4) "There is a proverb in English: 'Charity begins at home.' What do you think this means? Do you have a similar saying/proverb here in Turkey?" (T answer: Be kind, generous, and loving first at home)

Productive Task: Charitable Organizations (10-12 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Divide the Ss into groups and distribute a HO, listing some charities each group can donate to. Instruct the groups that they have just won 1 million pounds and they must donate all of their money to one charity, or divide their winnings amongst a group of charities--with a maximum of 4 different charities to donate to. "Think about and discuss why you are choosing the charity--or charities--that you will donate to. If you are dividing/distributing your winnings amongst many charities, decide how much of the 1 million pounds goes to each charity." Bring the groups together for WC FB.

Productive Task: Charitable Organization Presentation (10-13 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills and prepare for a productive activity in the proceeding lesson

Organize the WC into their PBL groups (or allow them to choose). Instruct the groups that they are going to create their own charity for some social problem. "You, as a group, are going to present your charity, and how you are going to raise the funds, to the WC next week. This will be your midterm presentation. Your T has 1 MILLION POUNDS to invest/donate. You are trying to convince your T, and the WC, that your charity deserves the 1 million pounds for funding and support." Reference the Ss to the elevator pitch activity in their Prep Listening/Speaking workbook ('Leap Advanced: Listening and Speaking', page 35). The Ss can use this activity to help structure their charity presentation. Each person should speak for around 1.5 minutes, so the presentation should last around 6 to 7.5 minutes in total, depending on the group number (group of 4 or group of 5). The groups should use some form of visuals, and visual aids, to support their presentation. Reference the previous PBL project (from the Fall). Allow time for questions and for the groups to decide on their presentation topic. Write on the WB: 1) What social problem does the charitable organization address? 2) What solution to this social problem does the charitable organization provide? 3) How will you raise funds for your charity?

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