Housing a Nation: Habitat for Humanity

Housing a Nation: Habitat for Humanity
Rosalynn Carter: Religion, Social Issues and Reform

Skill: Elementary School
Time Required: One or two class periods


Habitat for Humanity is an organization that assists low income families in securing a house through sweat equity, volunteer work, and low-interest loans.  Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have been active participants in Habitat for Humanity for years.


The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint students with the ideals and history of Habitat for Humanity and to promote a sense of the volunteer spirit in students.      

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet; access to print reference materials; art supplies.


1.  Ask students to describe an ideal house; then ask them to list the absolutely necessary features of a house today that has no “frills.”  Write the list on the board.
2.  Divide students into pairs and have them research Habitat for Humanity, noting its goals and its history (one student as researcher and one as scribe). 
3.  When all groups have completed their research, the teacher should lead a discussion about what they have learned, noting the major points on the board. 
4.  Tell the class they are members of an advertising agency that has been asked by Habitat to design a banner to be displayed in front of each new Habitat home.  Their banner should identify the house as part of the Habitat network and should also depict elements of the goals and history of the organization.  Words should be used sparingly.  When students complete their banner prototypes, have them present their banners with explanations.

Extending the Lesson:

Teachers may wish to tell students about Habitat rather than having them conduct their own research.  They may also prefer for their students to write a paragraph in which they explain the banners rather than present them to the class.

Sources & Resources:

Habitat for Humanity
In addition, many local community Habitat for Humanity chapters also maintain websites.
This lesson was developed by Bette Brooks, Kent State University.