Books Make A Home!
Tips for Educators
Humanity Plaza Teaching Ideas

Use the following activities to: Encountering Disaster
Read the Special Report After Hurricane Katrina and discuss how people's lives were affected by the natural disaster. What were the short-term and long-term needs of the victims after the storm?

Reaching Out to Help
  1. From the Special Report news coverage, make a list of some of the ways people and organizations tried to meet people's needs. Print a timeline and have students start to organize the outreach efforts into a chronological list. Invite students to share what they know about other events organized to help Hurricane Katrina victims. Add these to the timeline.

  2. Read about Humanity Plaza and Books Make A Home. Include these events in the timelines. Discuss how something like a collection of books makes a difference to people who have lost so much. What things would be important for students to have in their new home? Why might hurricane victims be grateful for letters from other people? What would students say to someone left homeless by the hurricane?

Looking Ahead
Review the timeline with students. For each event, discuss whether the effort will have short-term or long-term effects. Why are both types of efforts necessary? What other immediate and far-reaching help might the people of the Gulf Coast need?

Different Ways to Make a Difference
Review the list of outreach efforts again with students and decide whether the effort was led by individual citizens, private organizations, the government, or a combination. Discuss why individuals, businesses, charitable organizations, or government agencies would want to or need to help. Do students notice any similarities or differences in the types of outreach efforts planned by each group? Discuss the statement: Every little bit makes a difference.

Wrap Up
Have students write a brief essay on how a crisis can bring a people together.

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