Housing Advertisements

Reading for Life Lessons
Minnesota ABE Supplemental Services, Linda Strand, 2004-2005
and the Minnesota Literacy Council



Housing ads (Reading for Life volume 1, unit 2: Ads: Jobs, Product and Housing)


Learners will be able to read and interpret newspaper-style apartment ads.

Key Vocabulary:

apartment, rent, lease, security deposit, property, furnished, available, unit, efficiency apartment, studio, utilities

Topics to Review:

classified ads


apartment ads from a newspaper or other source, photocopies of apartment ads

Procedure - Real-life application:

T facilitates discussion with students about the places they live. Do they live in apartments or houses? Discuss how many bedrooms there are, other rooms, utilities included, security features, furnished/unfurnished and anything else you and your students can think of. Use this as an opportunity to teach and review vocabulary.

Look at an apartment ad from the newspaper. Discuss with students the same information as before, based on the ad.

Students circle all of the abbreviations in the ad. T and students work together to figure out the abbreviations. Students look at other ads to find abbreviations. Make a master list on the board or abbreviations and their written out form.

Abbreviation Scavenger Hunt: Give each student one abbreviation and a photocopied page of ads. The student scans his/her page to find all the instances of his/her abbreviation.

Ad rewrite: In pairs, students rewrite an ad for an apartment without using abbreviated forms.

Progress to Reading for Life, v.1 competency worksheets:

Applicable worksheets: RFL v.1, pages 31, 32 and 33

Progress to multiple-choice format activities:


  • See Daily Living Activities on page 30 of Reading for Life v.1.
  • Have students write a list of questions to ask when calling to inquire about one of the apartments on the worksheet.  Do role plays in pairs after discussing the questions as a group.