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A Homeless Man Struggles in Brazil



A Homeless Man Struggles in Brazil
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.61

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    match-like, association, ruthless, supplying, probation, alcohol, plank, ecosystem, unique, attackers, lush, roommate, shock, beginning, attack, handsome
     content words:    Sixteen-year-old Malcolm, Sao Paulo, South America, Amazon River


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A Homeless Man Struggles in Brazil
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Malcolm is a handsome young man. He has a shock of dark brown hair with skin and eyes to match-like most of his countrymen. But for much of his life, his expression looked unsettled. Malcolm's heart used to feel heavy. He never had a real home. Malcolm was homeless on the streets of Brazil.
 
2     Sixteen-year-old Malcolm ended up on the streets, but that was just the beginning of his problems. He got into trouble with the police. He was cold in the winter. He didn't know how to take care of himself. He never had enough to eat. Soon, he turned to alcohol to help himself feel better, but that made everything worse. Malcolm felt lonely and isolated. He says, "I used to go to empty houses and hide in there during the day and only come out at night. Basically, you feel as though you're nobody."
 
3     Malcolm went in and out of prison, too. Then, one day his probation officer told him about a housing association that could help him. It was still hard for Malcolm to adjust to a new routine. At first, he shared a small apartment with four other young men. Today, he has only one roommate. He has learned to take care of himself. He feels that he is finally making some progress in his life. Malcolm is lucky, but other homeless people in Brazil still need help.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable


Extended Activities:

1.  Design a floor plan for your ideal two-story house. Also, design a landscaping plan. How much would it cost to build your dream house? Would you add any special features like solar panels or energy saving devices?

2.  Pretend that you are opening a new coffee shop with a rainforest theme. Each of your coffees is inspired by a special rainforest animal or bird. Write a description of three kinds of coffee you would sell in your store.

3.  You are a world explorer and have discovered the Fountain of Youth in the Amazon rainforest. What would you do with your discovery? How would you market it? Write an ad for your new product that would give people the chance to live forever.



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