Activity Introduction

owen-alley-photoframeQuick summary: Students explore what it means to be homeless and complete a Think-Pair-Share activity to consider the differences between a home, house and a shelter. Students watch part two of THE OASIS and reflect on the circumstances that homeless young people face which may impact on their health and safety. Students then complete a short reflection where they agree or disagree with a series of statements posed about homeless young people.

Key ideas to explore:

  • There are multiple issues for young people who are experiencing homelessness, especially around finding safe and affordable accommodation.
  • There are differences in meanings between the terms ‘house’, ‘home’ and ‘shelter’. 
  • There are differences between being houseless and homeless.
  • The accommodation available to a person may have a significant impact on their health and well being.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Learning Area: Health and Physical Education

Content descriptions:

  • Plan, rehearse and evaluate options (including CPR and first aid) for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety and wellbeing may be at short or long term risk (ACPPS091)
  • Evaluate factors that shape identities and critically analyse how individuals impact the identities of others (ACPPS089)
  • Plan, implement and critique strategies to enhance health, safety and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS096)

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Literacy.

Syllabus OutcomesPDHPE5.1, PDHPE5.2, PDHPE5.6, PDHPE5.7, PDHPE5.8, PDHPE5.12, PDHPE5.15, PDHPE5.16.

Topic: THE OASIS, Social Issues

Unit of work: The OASIS – HPE

Time required: 60 minutes

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate discussion and group work.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting websites/videos to the class and access to THE OASIS documentary on Vimeo. Butcher’s paper. 

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: House, home, homelessness, shelter, health, safety, youth, THE OASIS, community development.

Acknowledgement: This resource has been adapted from ‘Teaching Social Issues Through English’ developed with English Teachers Association NSW and the ‘Youth Homelessness Matters Resource’ developed by Janice Atkin. You can find these resources here

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

chris asleepTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: This tuning in lesson is designed to facilitate student discovery of the differences between the terms 'house', 'home' and 'shelter' and to recognise that there are differences between being houseless and homeless.

Teacher content information: This lesson is based on THE OASIS documentary, which raises awareness of youth homelessness, celebrates the resilience of young people who are experiencing homelessness in Australia and empowers the next generation of young people to take action to prevent youth homelessness in the future.

Young people often become homeless because of family breakdown, often stemming from parental conflicts or a collapse of their relationship with a husband/wife or partner. Some young people who are living independently become homeless because they can’t afford living expenses such as rent. Being homeless is unsafe, unhealthy and very stressful. Young people experiencing homelessness are not a homogeneous group. T

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: A house is made of bricks and beams, a home is built of love and dreams. Do you agree?

1. What is a home? List the aspects that you think make up a home.

2. Explain the additional factors you included in your definition of home once you have discussed it with a partner and the rest of your class.

3. After completing the Venn diagram, identify the factors that are exclusive to each of the following terms:

A house:

A home:

A shelter:

Do you think the meanings of the terms overlap? If not, why not? If so, why?

4. Consider a health or safety issue that the clip shows Emma and Trent facing, and summarise the support that was provided (or could be provided) by places such as The Oasis to assist them.


Complete the following sentence starters in relation to the ideas around the terms 'house', 'home' and 'shelter':

I used to think …

But now I think …

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