Problema 1:

personas confinadas en sus hogares por su edad avanzada o condiciones de discapacidad

Una Solución: Escaleras Eléctricas

Problema 2:

alto costo de las viviendas

Una Solución: Mini-pisos

Una Solución: Casas impresas en 3-D

Problema 3:

sintechismo/personsas sin hogar

Una Solución Temporal: los refugios

Problema 4: cocinar a fuego abierto

Una Solución: las estufas

< < < para los profes > > >


  • Preview videos/links to be sure you can access them from your school.
Printing tip: Since all programs and printers vary, you may need to SCALE down the PDF before printing to fit the page.

Step 1: Share Daily Objective

Announce that today they will be looking at a few housing problems and creative solutions to solve them! (It’s important to remind our students that we will always have problems but we need to be problem solvers and think outside of the box to find solutions!) 


Step 2: Optional Brainstorm

If students can do this in the target language – have them talk about what housing problems. What are they? What problems exist where they live?

If this is ABOVE their language ability, skip this question for now. 

Step 3: Problem #1: Accessability

Many Latin American cities are built up in mountains or hills and it’s hard for the elderly or people with disabilities to get around. Some neighborhoods are only accessible by climbing many flights of stairs which can be dangerous for some.

Imagine being injured and having to use crutches. How would you get home? Imagine young children climbing these every day after school. Imagine grandparents carrying food home from the grocery store up several flights of stairs. Imagine you get to the bottom and realize you forgot something!      

One Solution: Escalators

Medellin, Colombia installed 6 sections of escalators in one of the poorest neighborhoods (Comuna 13)  that cannot be reached by car. The escalators turn what used to be a 30 minute walk into a 5 minute ride.

It is safer than unstable stairs and makes getting out of the house easier for many people! 

Problem #2: Rising cost of housing

Use the infographics to talk about increases in rent in cities around the world. It’s very expensive and difficult for many to afford. 

One Solution: Mini-pisos

This is the city version of a “tiny house.” Show the video with examples from Madrid. Would students want to live there? Is it worth it to live in an exciting part of the city?  


Another solution: 3-D printed houses 

Companies are experimenting with 3-D printing to create smaller, less expensive options OUTSIDE of the cities. 



Problem #3: Homelessness

Explain “sintechismo” = sin techo o sin hogar

This DuoLingo podcast episode is an interesting story about how a man from Argentina lost his home, job, and family, and ended up homeless. He talks about the struggles and how he found help. It’s narrated by Martina Castro and a mix of Spanish/English but slow for novice/intermediate language learners. 

A temporary solution: Argentinian Soccer Stadium opens its doors for homeless

What local places could help your local homeless population?



Problem #4: Cooking with open fires

Solution: stoves

The resources, videos, images, and links were provided by StoveTeam International, an organization working to assist families in need throughout Central America.

StoveTeam has created their own free online Spanish Unit! In 4 lessons, students learn about Central America and the issues StoveTeam works to address. Check it out here:

Guest Speaker via Video Chat
StoveTeam International invites you to video chat in Spanish with one of their staff members! Learn more about their experiences in Central America, and the work they’re doing to assist families in need. Contact StoveTeam to set up the call: Example: 

StoveTeam International loves partnering with classes to host fundraisers and provide much-needed stoves for families in Central America!

Check for learning


You can mark their “Objective Sheets” if they can do it at their proficiency target.

Remind them to be working on their experiences, especially if one relates to this objective.

If they are using the “Unit Vocabulary Sheet,” give them time to write down what they learned today.

Share your ideas & resources with the community below!


  1. Jennifer Tamburlin

    I created a guide to the Duolingo Podcast. Ss will need the transcript and the guide. I recommend printing them both. The Slides guide is meant to have the students draw representations of the phrases OR find words/phrases in the transcript to accompany the drawings.

    Worksheet to print:

    Accompanying Transcipt (has numbers to go with the questions on the worksheet):


      It looks like the two documents are the same. Is there any chance that an error was made while uploading these? I would really love the worksheet.

    • Rachelle Salyers

      This is great! Is there a worksheet to go along with the transcript?

    • Kelli Lunsford

      This is great! Do you have a worksheet to accompany the podcast as well?

  2. Brandon Sikkenga

    Do you mean ‘incapacidad’?

  3. Samantha Page

    Hmmm I don’t see a video for the 3-D printed houses…is there supposed to be one?

    With the Duolingo podcast, how many minutes would you recommend showing? It looks long (20 mins.)

    • Samantha Page

      Or which part would you recommend showing in the Duolingo podcast?

      • Megan Smith

        As for the podcast, you should listen to it all and decide what’s best for students. Listening skill need practice and many times students watch (videos) while listening so they have extra help. It’s good for them to listen to this story, but YOU know better than anyone if they would be able to follow the story OR if they would be interested in it.

        I thought it was a really neat combo of Spanish/English and would help novice learners stay interested.

        You could just pick out parts to listen to, assign it as optional homework or extra credit, or skip it altogether.

        This lesson is more than just language. It’s deeper and that can be a challenge to teach to novices in the TL. However, sometimes challenges are a healthy stretch!

    • Megan Smith

      The video is showing on my end. Here’s another link to try:

      The language is more advanced – more technical, but I’d still show it so students can SEE what a 3-D printed house looks like. It’s a neat process!

      • Christine Fuentes

        I am also not seeing the 3-D video. The space where it should be in the lesson is blank. ¿?

        • Megan Smith

          Hi, Christine! The 3D video is working for me. Here’s the direct link:

          I’ll see if I can find a different one to replace it since it sounds like it’s being blocked for you.

          Stay tuned.

  4. Samantha Page

    I think it would be great if there was some simple reading to accompany this lesson. For example, just like Azulejos were described in comprehensible Spanish, I feel like these problems would be described in comprehensible Spanish instead of just presented. Then students would be more input.

    • Megan Smith

      I’ll keep that in mind and see if there is something I could add to help teachers present the problems and solutions. Don’t downplay your role in providing comprehensible input. You know how to keep it at their level and can talk about the content with them. They will not be an expert at any of this things but they will be aware of issues and aware of the idea that THEY could be part of creative solutions to help solve problems in our world. Like I said, it’s deeper – and it’s not all about language production. I know this… every lesson impacts kids in different ways. This, just the idea of helping others, could inspire a kid in a new way!

    • Karyn Hennessy

      Thank you! I was going to comment as well that the link just brings you to an ING page, and not the graph.

  5. Karyn Hennessy

    Hi! Is the link on the “Como se esta ayudando?” picture supposed to take you to the Stove Team page? it just takes me to a page that comes up blank. Thanks!

    • Kara Parker

      Finally found their new link! Sorry for the delay.

  6. Marta Harrington

    Hi ladies, once again I am doing this lesson, my favorite of the unit. I was wondering if you could add the link for problema 2 that has the article about the high price of rent as well as the bar graph. It’s reference in the “para los profes” but it isn’t in the lesson itself. I am assuming it was removed from the internet? The two graphs on the lesson itself are enough to explain the concept.
    Thank you so much.

    • Megan Smith

      Hi, Marta! The article is gone so we replaced it with the infographics (which are easier to read anyway). I’ll do a search to see if there’s a good article about housing costs across Latin America. I’ll update the “profe” section now. Thanks for pointing it out!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.