Lesson Plans – Poverty

Charity and Justice: What’s the Difference?
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Has students distinguish between charity (volunteering in a soup kitchen) and justice (working to end the inequalities that make soup kitchens necessary). It asks students to think about root causes (inequality) versus symptoms (poverty that leads to the need for soup kitchens).
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, service learning


Economic and Social Justice: A Human Rights Perspective
Author: David Shiman, Source: Univ. of Minnesota Human Rights Center
Full curriculum that provides an introduction to economic and social rights, 9 learning activities, and resources. See especially Activity 2, Economic Justice, The Scramble for Wealth and Power, and Activity 5, Hunger USA.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, economics


Environmental Justice

Elementary   Middle school   High school
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Uses maps and graphs to explore how some natural disasters like the Gulf Oil Spill disproportionately affect people of color and those who live in poverty.
Subject Area: social studies, geography


Fighting Disease: Health at the End of the Millennium
Source: UN Cyberschoolbus
A seven-lesson unit with learning activities that focus on global health. See especially Unit 4, “Poverty: Breeding Ground for Disease.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, health, science


Human Rights and Service Learning
Source: Amnesty International USA
An introduction to human rights service learning with a lesson on poverty.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, service learning


Human Rights in the US: The People behind the Statistics
Source: Advocates for Human Rights
Lesson that using puts a human face on the violation of human rights in the USA.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies


Issues of Poverty
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Four-lesson unit that addresses poverty as systemic and rooted in politics, economics, and discrimination. Lessons include “What is Poverty?” “Poverty and Unemployment,” “Race and Poverty,” “The Cycle of Poverty.”
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, language arts


Speak Truth to Power: Mohammed Yuus
Source: Speak Truth to Power Curriculum, RFK Center
Activities based on Mohammed Yuus’ establishment of the Grameen Bank to help women gain economic independence.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies, economics, women’s studies


Poverty
Source: UNICEF
Units with lesson plans, stories, and video that illustrates the challenges and issues of poverty through the story of a teenager from Haiti who shares her story of overcoming challenging circumstances.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies


Poverty + Human Rights
Source: Amnesty International UK
Three lessons with accompanying videos introduce the issue, explore how different organizations approach ending poverty.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, economics


Poverty and Human Rights

Source: Learning to Give
This lesson examines poverty statistics and leads to the creation of posters illustrating UDHR rights that poverty denies.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies, art


Poverty and Natural Disasters for Elementary and Middle & High School
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Compares the results of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the connection between poverty and natural disasters.
Grade Level: elementary – high school
Subject Area: social studies


Using Photographs to Teach Social Justice: Exposing Homelessness and Poverty
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Explores issues of homelessness and poverty through photographs.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies