Carole Cheatwood
  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 third of three in this series: (1.) Determining Needs vs. Wants (2.) Realtor Role-Play (3.) Searching for Dream Homes on the Internet

  World Wide Web, Technology, Job skills, Consumer education

Learner Level:
  Grade 6.0 - 12.9

Time Frame:
  30 minutes per learner

Learner Grouping:

  I had eight Families First adult learners who participated in this lesson. We were studying the Fannie Mae Curriculum, "How to Buy Your Own Home." Six of the learners were studying for their GED. All learners were trying to attain skills necessary for the workplace.

Families First is the Tennessee program to provide 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.

Not Available

  Lawrence County Adult Learning Center

Type of Program:

Student Population Served:
  Basic skills (grade levels 5-8.9)

Searching for dream homes on the Internet

Adult learners will successfully navigate the Internet and employ research skills to select their "dream home." They will also research housing costs. __________________________________________________________

Learning Objective:

  • Learners will find and navigate a recommended Internet site to locate information.
  • Learners will print a copy of an Internet page.
  • Learners will be able to decode the Internet Multiple Listing Services (MLS).

Primary Skill:
Use information and communications technology

Secondary Skills:
Learn through research, Lifelong learning

Learner Needs & Goals:
As a part of exploring the possibility that they could become homeowners and following a visit by a realtor, learners used this lesson to get a feel for the price range of homes in a particular geographical area.

Learning Activity Description:

  1. Ask the learners to refer to their home buying "needs" list they made in the first lesson of this series.
  2. Distribute a local Home Guide to each learner, or pair of learners.
  3. Explain that all the different realty companies list their houses for sale in one big listing called the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS.
  4. Ask learners to choose a home based on their needs instead of wants. If there is a MLS number at the bottom of the ad, have the learner copy it down or circle it.
  5. Help learners decode the ads using the Code sheet. (Unfortunately, there are no standard abbreviations for housing ads. The attached Handout 1 of Sample Housing Abbreviations should be of some help.)
  6. Each learner will go to on the Internet. Using the mouse, click "Find a Home." Learners may search for a home in Tennessee or any other state. Select the state in which the learner wishes to search. Then select a region. This should bring you to a form page where the learner may select information to find their dream home. If you did lesson one in this series, "Determining Needs vs. Wants," the learners may refer to the "needs" list they have already compiled.
  7. Have the learners conduct a search for the home.  You may want to take a virtual tour of a home if the tour software has already been downloaded.  Learners should print the listing(s) of homes that interest them and meet their needs.  The prices should be listed with the homes.  Ask the learners to compare the prices of their homes.

Materials and Resources:

  • Home Guides (These may be picked up for free at local convenience stores and grocery stores.)
  • Computer with Internet access (The local library may have one that your learners can use if one is not available in the classroom.)
  • Learner's list of home features based in individual needs (as created in the first learning activity in this project.)

Attachments: (For Internet Explorer users, right click on link then choose "Save target as". For Netscape users, just hold down the shift key and click on the link.)

If the learner has at least two "dream homes" printed out, he/she will have completed the learning goals successfully.

This activity was enjoyed by all. I even had some learners come in the next day and want to find more homes on the Internet! One learner (who had just bought a computer) went home and tried to find a home on the Internet. The activity was a fun one and very relaxed. Some learners wanted to really dream "big" after they found their realistic "dream home" based on their needs. Once the learners get started, they wanted to keep finding homes. I had to limit the amount of time spent on this activity due to the fact that we only had one computer with Internet access. We actually worked in groups of four on one computer where the others watched while one person was on the computer. They looked for homes in Alabama, Tennessee and Florida.


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