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Poverty Education Center

Lesson Plans

 A selection of websites and individual lessons useful for K-12 teachers:


A curriculum unit on global poverty developed by teachers at Interlake High School in Bellevue, WA for AP World History classes.

http://www.tolerance.org/activities
A great website with lesson plans relevant to many different social problems.

http://www.tolerance.org/activity/editorial-cartoons-povertyenvironmental-justice
A lesson plan that involves looking at a cartoon about the environmental consequences of being poor.

http://www.tolerance.org/activity/poetry-home-homelessness
Three lesson plans, each geared toward a different age group, that use reading and writing poetry to help students understand homelessness.

http://www.tolerance.org/activity/romeo-and-juliet-mix-it
A lesson plan about how people need to cross social boundaries. Using Romeo and Juliet as the text, it asks students to write a scene in which the characters cross social boundaries.

http://www.tolerance.org/activity/unequal-unemployment
A lesson plan that uses math to evaluate unequal employment from 2007-2009.

http://www.un.org/works/Lesson_Plans/WGO/WGO_LP_PA.pdf
An elementary school lesson plan covering the general topic of homelessness. Includes a book list, radio list, film list, and website list for further examination.

Teach UNICEF http://teachunicef.org/explore/topic/poverty
Has middle school and high school units addressing global poverty, especially children living in poverty.

http://learningtogive.org/lessons/unit100/lesson2.html
Two-day lesson plan that asks students to read two stories: "Eat, My Fine Coat" and "The Rag Coat." Addresses discrimination and stereotypes.

http://learningtogive.org/lessons/unit162/lesson2.html
Lesson plan that has students look at statistics, causes of poverty, and resources for people living in poverty. Also has students read and analyze the UN Declaration of Human Rights to see if poverty violates it.

http://humanityquest.com/topic/art_activities/index.asp?theme1=poverty
A list of art activities that can be used to explore poverty.

http://www.tolerance.org/activity/poverty-lesson-teachers
Illustrates family budgeting when living in poverty.

http://www.randomhouse.com/highschool/resources/lessonplans/workingpoor.html
In this lesson, students consider their own notions of poverty, examine the lives of people classified as working poor from a variety of perspectives, and present their findings to the class. Students synthesize their knowledge in a paper examining poverty and hardworking people.

http://www.teachablemoment.org/high.html
A website with lesson plans addressing current issues, including poverty among others.

http://www.teachablemoment.org/high/hunger.html#top
Two student readings that address poverty from a political and economic point of view. Appropriate for high school.

http://www.teachablemoment.org/high/unemployment.html
Comparing poverty and joblessness today with poverty and joblessness during the Great Depression. A historical POV, and includes some excellent pictures from the Great Depression.

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/fyi/lesson.plans/09/27/census.story/index.html
A lesson plan for high school students with a mathematical approach that requires students to analyze statistics.

www.Kidscanmakeadifference.org
Kids Can Make A Difference® (KIDS), an educational program for middle- and high school students, focuses on the root causes of hunger and poverty, the people most affected by these problems, as well as solutions and how students can help. The major goal is to stimulate the students to take some definite follow-up actions as they begin to realize that one person can make a difference. It has a huge book list under the Teacher Guide link (it is part of the November 2009 update).

http://www.usccb.org/cchd/epic/www/index.html
Ending Poverty In Community (EPIC): A Toolkit for Young Advocates is an interactive, interdisciplinary curriculum for youth ministry programs and high school classrooms. The lessons introduce participants to the epidemic of poverty in the United States and to the steps they can take to work with the poor in eliminating the root causes of poverty today. The curriculum comprises six lessons with classroom-ready handouts, warm-up exercises and reflection activities that reinforce student learning and inspire a faith response.

http://media.kiva.org/poverty.pdf
An Economic Development Forum lesson to teach high school students about global poverty.

http://www.un.org/works/goingon/poverty/lessonplan_poverty.html
This lesson presents an overview of where, why, how and in what conditions poverty and homelessness exist in the United States. This lesson examines the ethical and moral issues related to society's treatment of the poor and homeless. Students will gain a greater awareness of the causes and the devastating impact poverty has on people's lives.

http://www.lessonplanet.com/directory/social_studies/people_and_society/human_rights/poverty
A collection of lesson plans relating to poverty

http://www.bized.co.uk/educators/16-19/economics/development/lesson/poverty.htm
A series of 'off the shelf' lesson plans and resources for use in the classroom; several deal with poverty, inequality and income distribution.

http://www.beadforlife.org/5curriculum.html
Curriculum on Understanding Global Poverty: How Youth Can Make a Difference.

http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/poverty2000/index.asp
A series of United Nations lesson plans on food, health, housing, education, work and economic security.

Contact Us

Poverty Education Center
206.296.6107

povertycenter@seattleu.edu