What is homelessness?

Learn what qualifies someone as homeless, and why people find themselves in housing need.

Should we build more homes?

Consider arguments for and against building, and have a class debate on a new development.

How can we create better neighbourhoods?

Evaluate the pros and cons of different neighbourhoods, and draw a plan of an ideal new town.

What does Shelter do?

Learn about Shelter’s day-to-day work, and get an insight into the complexity of housing law.

Young people and homelessness

Challenge and debate opinions about young homeless people, and consider housing options.

Money management

Explore the concept of financial capability and responsible money management and budgeting.

Next steps

We hope you and your class have enjoyed using Shelter’s Classroom Kit and found the lesson plans useful and thought provoking. Now we need to ask for your help in return.

In Britain today, 1.6 million children are homeless, or living in bad housing. Homeless children often grow up on the edge of society: anxious, depressed and missing out on their education.

Your school can make a difference to these children – and our free resources make it easy for you to get involved in the way that suits you best.

However you choose to help, all the money you raise will go directly to help families and children in desperate housing need. Thank you very much in advance for your support.

About Shelter’s Classroom Kit

Key Stage 1

The KS1 lesson plans use games and matching activities to help children identify and describe shapes, materials and features in their local environment so they can create patterns, pictures and models – a useful and engaging introduction to ideas about homes and neighbourhoods.

Key Stage 2

The lesson plans help children describe and discuss features of different homes and environments around the world using models, poems, animations and matching activities. Pupils learn to explore ideas of ‘needs and wants’ in a housing context and develop empathy with the housing situations of others.

Teacher’s notes

You can use these prompts to help draw the KS1 and 2 lesson plans together and explain to the class a bit about Shelter’s work:

Shelter put this classroom kit together.

  • Who or what is Shelter?
  • What does ‘shelter’ mean?

Look at the letter ‘h’ in Shelter at the top of all the slides:

  • What shape is it?
  • Have we seen that shape before in any of the other lesson plans?
  • Does it give you a clue about what Shelter does?

You could read out this statement:
‘Shelter wants to make sure that everyone has a safe, comfortable home to live in, that is big enough for the whole family, in a nice neighbourhood’.

Your class could combine any of the activities we’ve suggested in the KS1 and 2 lesson plans to make a collage or project showing their ideal home, neighbourhood or town – made up of their favourite elements, shapes, materials, features for a show and tell. Why not invite other pupils in for a guided tour!

Key Stage 3

The Citizenship KS3 module uses games, debate cards, video and case studies to encourage pupils to explore homelessness and housing need, consider how better neighbourhoods influence quality of life, examine arguments for house building and gain an insight into housing law and Shelter’s work.

Key Stage 4

The PSHE lesson plan uses budgeting scenarios and games to explore the concept of financial capability and promote responsible money management.

The Citizenship KS4 lesson plan encourages pupils to debate and challenge opinions about young homeless people and discuss their housing options.


You can download this information as a pdf

About Shelter's Classroom Kit

Got a question?

We’re here to help. Contact our Schools Fundraising Team on 0844 515 2130 or email us at: schools@shelter.org.uk

Nationwide Education resources

You might find these resources useful – they are all free and available on Nationwide Education’s website.

Fact sheets

  • FA3 Benefits
  • FB1-4 Forms of Payment
  • FB6 Personal Finance Documents
  • FB9 Money Saving Tips
  • FB10 Tips for Managing Debt
  • FB11 Budgeting
  • FC1 Types of Debt

Download fact sheets

Work sheets

  • WA1 Benefits
  • WB2 Budgeting Activities
  • WB3 Budget Sheet
  • WB5 Money throughout our Lives

Download work sheets

Interactive games: Money Matrix 2

  • Finance Finder
  • Vox Spot
  • Word Search
  • Triple Trivia
  • Quickfire Questions

Play Money Matrix 2