Poverty Lesson Plans

Poverty lesson plans can help students understand the issues involved, and how countries are trying to tackle this problem.

By Carrie Jackson


Poverty Lesson Plans

Poverty is a social issue that plagues many countries around the world. It is one of many international issues that do not have an easy solution. The United States has struggled with poverty-related issues for centuries. Despite many efforts made by the government, poverty is still a major concern for many families and individuals. According to the United States Census Department, 39.8 million people are living in poverty; this number has increased steadily since 2004.

During the Great Depression the United States experienced a period of poverty that devastated the country. Major legislation was passed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide recovery, reform, and relief for the country during the 1930s. New Deal legislation led to the development of many programs and services that offered help, including the Social Security Act of 1935. This legislation provided financial support to individuals who qualified based on disability, age, and other factors.

Poverty is a global issue, and according to the World Bank, a sickness. Poverty goes beyond not having food; it extends into broader issues that include lack of healthcare, education, shelter and unemployment. These issues fall under the larger umbrella of poverty, and many countries around the world are trying to deal with the issue. Based on a report conducted by the Institute for Research on Poverty, poverty is highest in single parent households, and where people live plays a vital role in poverty. The lessons below can make the issue of poverty clearer for students.


Poverty Lesson Plans:

Global Women and Poverty

In this lesson students will examine the issue of poverty in the countries of Senegal and Thailand. Students will view film segments about these by Bill Moyers. They will also create an action plan for assisting these countries, conduct research and present findings.

The Poor in the United States 

This is a great lesson plan for students because it explores the issue of poverty among young people. Students will research how issues like nutrition, healthcare and housing relate to poverty. In addition, students will compose letters to government representatives.

In Need? Indeed!

This lesson plan explores the New York Times column "The Neediest Cases". Students will read and examine some of the neediest cases and work in groups to create a persuasive advertisement about the case.

Is All Well in Welfare? Exploring Solutions for Welfare Reform

Students will review welfare reform policies introduced by the Bush Administration. Students will also re-write welfare reform plans and present ideas and solutions to the class through the creation of a public service advertisement.
















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Carrie Jackson