This learning activity was part of the project sponsored by the Fannie Mae Foundation to prepare Families First recipients for home ownership and an action research grant given by the Tennessee Department of Human Services to create work-focused Families First classrooms. This activity was the second of three in this series:
(1.) Determining Needs vs. Wants
(2.) Realtor Role-Play
(3.) Searching for Dream Homes on the Internet
Writing skills, Job skills, Learner produced materials, Listening Skills
The adult learners in this class were all Families First students. Families First is the Tennessee program that provides training for those welfare recipients who lack basic education skills. While learners do work toward a GED, emphasis in these classes is shifting toward the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learners need to acquire and keep a good job.
There were eight learners attending class for four hours a day, five days a week. Four learners were in the "Realtor" Group. The other four were in the homebuyer group. The "realtors" were the only ones who did this activity. Two of the learners in this group were not working on their GED.
Lawrence County Adult Learning Center
Type of Program:
Student Population Served:
Basic skills (grade levels 5-8.9)
Following a visit from a local realtor, adult learners play the role of realtors with other classmates as the prospective homebuyers. The "realtors" determine questions to ask the prospective homebuyer so that they can help the "homebuyers" find the home best suited to their needs and wants. "Realtors" will use appropriate communication skills to clarify the information with the "clients."
- The "realtors" will produce a questionnaire that asks pertinent questions about the type of home and the needs of the homebuyer.
- The "realtor" learners will work together to assure that the questionnaire will be correct in form, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- The learner will "try out" the role of a realtor in an exploration of that occupation.
- The student will demonstrate proper listening skills and will speak with respect to the client.
Convey ideas in writing, Use information and communications technology, Listen actively, Speak so others can understand, Cooperate with others
Learner Needs & Goals:
As a part of exploring the possibility that they could become homeowners, learners realized that they would be working with a realtor to help them find a home. They were nervous about this possibility because they didn't understand what role the realtor plays in the home-buying process. In this activity, learners explore the occupation of realtor.
Learning Activity Description:
- Invite a realtor to speak about his/her profession and explain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be successful in this profession.
- Ask learners to prepare 2-3 questions in advance to ask the realtor. Make sure someone asks "How do you know what type of home to start looking for?"
- Encourage learners to ask questions and take notes while the speaker is talking, or immediately following.
- After the guest speaker has left, ask the "realtor" group to make up a questionnaire to be used to determine the needs of their "clients." (The instructor should guide this group in compiling the questionnaire. In order for the teacher to be familiar with what questions are needed, use the Internet resource www.realtor.com. Click on "Looking for a Home." Then select the state and area of interest. There is a questionnaire asking for details to narrow the search for a home.)
- The "realtor" group works together to compile the questions for the questionnaire. Each member suggests questions and edits each other's questions for content and the conventions of English language usage including grammar, spelling, and sentence structure.
- The "realtor" group word processes (if available) or types and prints the questionnaire. Then they make and distribute copies for everyone in the class.
- Everyone in the class completes a questionnaire.
- When everyone has finished answering all the questions, the "realtors" collect all the answers to use in the next lesson of "Selecting Dream Homes on the Internet."
- "Realtors" will need to review the questionnaire with the "clients" to make sure that the information is clear. "Realtors" should listen carefully to the needs of their clients, answering questions so that clients can find the homes that are best suited for them.
Materials and Resources:
- Paper and pencil
- A local realtor who will serve as a guest speaker
- Computer with word processing capabilities and printer
- Copy machine to copy questionnaire for each "homebuyer"
Assess the questionnaire prepared by the "realtors" for content. Would the questions elicit the information from the homebuyer that would help the realtor help the homebuyer determine what type of house the buyer would be interested in? Is the questionnaire correct in form, spelling, grammar and punctuation?
Using the questionnaires, do the "realtors" work well with the "homebuyers" so that homebuyers and realtors come to consensus on what type of home the buyer will look for? Do the realtors demonstrate proper listening skills and do they speak with respect to their clients in this process?
Actually, we used the Fannie Mae curriculum, "How to Buy Your Own Home" as a resource rather than having a realtor as a guest speaker. However, a realtor could give you enough information to do this lesson and would provide a change of pace from the regular classroom activities. The computer work was done by two of the learners, while the other two were responsible for making copies, distributing and collecting them. The learners felt empowered and important because they developed a questionnaire and gathered information themselves. In some cases, the learners in the other group did not answer the questions correctly, and the "realtors" had to explain what they meant so that they could obtain an appropriate response. While the realtor group was doing this activity, the other group worked on another related assignment. It might also work to have each group work on a questionnaire so that there would be two to compare at the end of this activity.
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