Invisible Child: Dasani’s Homeless Life

Dec 9, 2013
Image for issue at Youth Voices

Will you: 

Read and annotate the five chapters of this New York Times series. Write about Dasani, the focus of these narrative articles, the way you would write about the main character of a short story. Also, get involved in discussions about each of the articles by posting your responses, adding your comments, doing more research into the issues of homelessness and making more comments, citing your research. There are more than 22,000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the Great Depression. This is one of their stories. (Track your progress through the steps in this mission.)

Step One of Six: Annotate the five New York Times Dasani articles in NowComment

Invisible Child | Niño Invisible By Andrea Elliott, Photographs by Ruth Fremson. Published by the New York Times. December 9, 2013

How to annotate the texts and images embedded below:
Log into NowComment, or Log into Gmail first, then sign in with Google.

    Make notes on sentences

  • identify key sentences and say why they are important
  • guess at, then find definitions for words you don't know
  • point to words that this author uses frequently, and explain why s/he does this

    Make notes on a paragraph

  • a part that you think is particularly memorable, and explain why
  • dialogue that shows something significant about the characters
  • something that confuses you. Say what you do understand, then explain what's still not clear.

    Make notes on the writer's craft

  • choose a specific example, and identify the literary technique used.
  • select a sentence or a paragraph, and explain how these capture the main themes of this text.
  • point out a sentence that stands out to you—for whatever reason—and explain why.

Chapter 1 of 5 | Niño Invisible, Parte 1: La muchacha en las sombras: Vida sin hogar de Dasani

Chapter 2 of 5 | Niño Invisible, Parte 2: Un futuro descansa en una Fundación Frágil

Chapter 3 of 5 | Niño Invisible, Parte 3: Divide profunda de un Barrio

Chapter 4 of 5 | Niño Invisible, Parte 4: Encontrar Fuerza en los Bonos de Sus Hermanos

Chapter 5 of 5 | Niño Invisible, Parte 5: Razones para soñar

Step Two of Six: Write about Dasani as if she were a character in a story using Lit Guides

2a: As you are reading stop at the end of sections (Each section is identified with a large capital letter.) and write about Dasani. Treat these narrative articles as stories, and respond to sections within them them as if they were a short story, using these Literature Response Guides and treating Dasani as a character in a story: Tracking the Characters, Character Traits and Relationships, Character Archetypes, Character Analysis Introduction

2b: Write comments and replies in the Discussions posted on the left, using these guides: General Response or Agree/Disagree Response

Step Three of Six: Record an interview with another student, people on the street, and experts about homelessness.

Write fifteen questions about homelessness: 5 for someone you know, 5 for a "Vox Pop" street/hallway interview, and 5 you would ask an expert. Record your interview using audio or video and post your recording (as an MP3 or MPEG4) with your reflections as a discussion on Youth Voices. See the mission, "Interviews for Documentaries."

Step Four of Six: Do more research into Dasani's story and homelessness

Annotate Two Podcasts and a Video (below)


Use Dialectical notes to keep track of your reading of
resources on The New York Times Index: Homelessness

Step Five of Six: Post responses to each of the five articles in this series as a Discussion on Youth Voices

5a: Use the Guides: Basic Non-Fiction, Ethos, Pathos, Logos, Developed Non-Fiction Response. and Collage

5b: Write comments and replies in the Discussions posted on the left, using these Comment Guides.

Step Six of Six: Add more comments to "Invisible Child" posts, quoting from your research

Use your annotations and notes from the podcasts and the video (in Step Four) to add new comments on other students' "Invisible Child" discussion posts using the Commenting Guide: Quoting a Source in a Comment.