Lesson Plan

Facing Eviction


To stave off a nationwide housing crisis during the coronavirus pandemic, Washington lawmakers passed a massive spending package and officials implemented new housing policies, including a federal ban on evictions. As the eviction moratorium expired across the country, the larger debate over housing, and which policies would best help the tight market and the unhoused continued. What should be done about housing insecurity?

These excerpts from Facing Eviction center on the precarious, high stakes journeys of tenants trying to hang on during the pandemic and also reveal how the eviction moratorium impacted landlords who were deprived of income, sheriffs who were conflicted about having to enforce the eviction ban, judges grappling with how to interpret the policy, and lawyers and social workers helping tenants stave off the devastating consequences of eviction.


Students will:

  • Examine various perspectives on the issue of housing insecurity.
  • Analyze multiple media sources, including film and news articles to discern public policy arguments.
  • Work collaboratively to discuss and categorize policy proposals and then advocate for a specific policy change.
  • Civics & Government
  • U.S. History
  • Social Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Coronavirus
  • Public Health
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Civics and Government
  • U.S. History
For Teachers

Essential Questions

  • What should be done about housing insecurity?
  • How have factors like redlining and racial inequity or the coronavirus pandemic contributed to social vulnerability and housing insecurity?
  • What factors should governments consider when creating housing policy?

Additional Resources

Transcript for "Facing Eviction"Retro Report and PBS Frontline 
Emergency Rental Assistance ProgramU.S. Department of the Treasury 
Interactive Map: Not Even Past: Social Vulnerability and the Legacy of RedliningDigital Scholarship Lab 
Housing Insecurity Affinity MappingJamboard 
The Big List of Class Discussion StrategiesCult of Pedagogy 
Instructional Strategy: Affinity DiagramAll Access Pass 
Affinity DiagramKent State University 
Affinity Diagrams: How to Cluster Your Ideas and Reveal InsightsInteraction Design Foundation 
Affinity Diagram: Tips and TricksMedium article by Talisha Payton 

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.

Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

Explain points of agreement and disagreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a compelling question.

Explain how supporting questions contribute to an inquiry and how, through engaging source work, new compelling and supporting questions emerge.

Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of view represented in the sources, the types of sources available, and the potential uses of the sources.

Evaluate citizens’ and institutions’ effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.

Critique relationships among governments, civil societies, and economic markets.

Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.

Evaluate how political and economic decisions throughout time have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and regions.

Evaluate the impact of economic activities and political decisions on spatial patterns within and among urban, suburban, and rural regions.

Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.

Analyze change and continuity in historical eras.

Use questions generated about individuals and groups to assess how the significance of their actions changes over time and is shaped by the historical context.

Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people’s perspectives.

Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to pursue further inquiry and investigate additional sources.

Questions? Tips? Concerns? Reach out to our Director of Education, David Olson: dolson@retroreport.com