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This lesson teaches students the poverty statistics of their community and challenges them to initiate solutions


Math, Social Studies  


6, 7, 8  

Title – Poverty Within Our Community
By – Margaret Canty, Erin Cleary, Chelsea Elledge, and Bronwyn McNamara
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – Math
Grade Level – 6-8

Time Frame:

    The following lesson spans three days with eighty-five minute sessions.

Descriptive Data:

    Poverty affects everyone. No matter if you live in Buffalo or Spain, everyone is affected by poverty at some level. Understanding what poverty is and how poverty relates to your community on a statistical basis will allow children to understand their community on a different level.


    Poverty occurs everywhere. In order to make students aware of their total community while teaching through a mathematics perspective, the student will first become aware of what poverty is and the statistics of poverty in their community, so they will be able to reach out to the community in which they live.


  1. Students can explain what poverty is.
  2. Students can give and implement possible solutions to poverty.
  3. Students can read statistics concerning poverty. (graphs, charts and word documents.)


  1. The teacher listens to the students during the group and class discussion.
  2. The teacher grades students with a rubric.
  3. The teacher observes and collects the students’ work.


      Day 1: Introduction to Poverty

      1. Discuss what poverty is.
      2. The students then write about what they could not live without.
      3. Produce a t-chart with a column for wants and needs with the class. (This activity can be created on Smartboard.)
      4. An invited speaker talks to the students regarding the topic of poverty and the statistics of poverty within the area.
      5. The students will brainstorm about potential solutions as homework.

      Day 2: Group Work

      1. The students discuss possible solutions in a group setting, using the ideas that they brainstormed from their previous homework assignment.
      2. Each group prioritizes solutions by researching the possible solutions based on cost effectiveness and promoting a positive change.
      3. Each group presents their findings with their peers.
      4. The class as a whole chooses the best solution to poverty. (Some examples are writing letters to the mayor, creating PowerPoints that will be presented in front of the school or town board, and having a school-wide food drive.)

    Day 3: Solution

    1. The whole class will create their solution (write letter to mayor, create PowerPoint, make food drive posters, etc.) during a class period when students will be provided computers.

E-Mail Margaret Canty, Erin Cleary, Chelsea Elledge, and Bronwyn McNamara !

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