Using Read-Write-Pair-Share to Discuss Housing Insecurity

Brianna Sander


Step by Step Instructions

  1. At the beginning of this mini-lesson, I will give each student the Response Heuristic Chart. This chart asks students what items should be included in the tiny homes they will build following this mini-lesson. Students will write why they chose that item along with the items on the chart and provide textual evidence to support their reasoning.
  2. As I give out the chart, I will number the students into two groups The students in group one will read Anthony’s Story, and the students in group two will read the collection of stories on
  3. As students read their given material, they will individually fill out the chart provided.
  4. After the students have read their texts and completed their charts, I will pair them with a student who read the same texts to compare their items and explain why they chose them. These comparisons will be based on the information that the students have put in their charts.
  5. After the pair discussions, I will create groups with a pair from each reading. These groups will present their lists based on their readings and discuss the items they chose, and why they chose them for the tiny homes which they will build following this mini-lesson.

The Read-Write-Pair-Share strategy promotes discussion and engagement among students. This strategy allows students to share their thoughts with other students and receive feedback before discussing in a bigger group, thus making students more comfortable discussing with the bigger group (Frey et al. 81-82).

This mini-lesson disrupts the commonplace through students reading about and discussing items that students may take for granted in their everyday lives. It also exposes students to the reality of homelessness and allows students to look at and discuss the reality of social classes through the lens of homelessness.

Note: This mini-lesson is a part of a project students will complete afterward. To view the outline of this project, see Overall lesson: Creating a Tiny House. This mini-lesson meets the empathize and define steps of this project.
Video Demonstration


Frey, Nancy, et al. 50 Instructional Routines to Develop Content Literacy. Pearson, 2015.

“Hidden Homelessness: Youth Voices — The Search for Home and Hope for the Future [Anthony’s Story].” SchoolHouse in Session, Accessed 16 November 2022.

Homeless Essentials, Accessed 16 November 2022.

About the author

I was raised in Manning, Iowa, where I graduated from IKM-Manning High School in 2019. After graduation, I went to Des Moines Area Community College in Carroll for two years before transferring to Iowa State University. Towards the end of my high school years, I realized that I wanted to go into education, particularly teaching high school math. I always enjoyed helping other students with homework, especially math homework. After graduating from Iowa State University, I plan on teaching high school math in West Central Iowa, close to home.