Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Middle School
Grade:
7
Tags:
  • GEDB
  • Global Education
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    GEDB Poverty: What Is "Poverty" and the "National Poverty Level"? (Lesson 1 of 6)

    GEDB Poverty: What Is "Poverty" and the "National Poverty Level"? (Lesson 1 of 6)

    Overview

    The lesson will allow students to work collaboratively to develop and individually to develop an understanding of living in poverty. They will research, investigate, and discuss how the national poverty level is calculated. While examining poverty on the local and national level, they will be given the opportunity to use percentages in their calculations. This lesson was developed by Elizabeth Hicks as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.

    Lesson Plan

    Description

    The lesson will allow students to work collaboratively to develop and individually to develop an understanding of living in poverty. They will research, investigate, and discuss how the national poverty level is calculated. While examining poverty on the local and national level, they will be given the opportunity to use percentages in their calculations.


    Content

    Learning Targets and Criteria for Success

    • Students will develop an understanding of living in poverty by discussing what leads to one having to live in a state of poverty. 
    • Students will work within a collaborative group to research, investigate and discuss how the national poverty level is calculated.
    • Students will be able to use percentages in calculations and convert numbers into percentages

    Learning Tasks and Practice

    Warm up: 

    Students will work with a partner to develop a definition of poverty and what it would mean to live in poverty.  They are to determine an income level in which they would consider a cause of one having to live in poverty.  Students are to work with their partner for 4-5 minutes to develop a definition and income level.  Each group will share their definitions and we will create a list of income levels determined by each group.

     

    Lesson Procedure:

    To begin the lesson, the BBC News Video “The US Poverty Challenge Facing Donald Trump" (see footnote) will be shown. This will help students to see poverty in the US and how a family is impacted by living below the poverty level.  Students will be introduced to the following terms:

    o   Poverty

    o   National Poverty Level

    o   Income

    o   Household

    o   Percentage

    What is the National Poverty Line?  Students will work in collaborative groups and use the Institute for Research on Poverty website (see footnote) to research how the national poverty level is determined.  Students will also look at the National Poverty Level in the US and compare this to the local poverty level. The US Census Bureau also has information on-line that will help students to research and understand how the poverty level is determined. 

    Students will then be asked to use their knowledge of percentages to calculate the number of people within a country that currently live in poverty. 

    A percentage is a rate of a number that is a proportion of a larger number.  Students will develop an understanding of what 15% of the American population means if there are 326,000,000 million people in the US.  Calculations will be modeled in class using the basic proportion as follows:

    Students will be asked to choose 3 different countries around the world.  They will research the percentage of the population from each of the chosen countries to determine the number of people within that country that live below the country’s poverty level.  Students will be asked to share their findings within their group.  A class list will be created illustrating their discoveries. 

    An assignment will be given where students will work on converting percentages to numbers and vice versa.  This assignment should be started in-class to give students a chance to ask questions regarding the calculations.  Any of the assignment not finished in class should be completed for homework.  This assignment will allow students to practice determining a percentage or the portion of the whole using proportions.  They will use this mathematical knowledge to look at poverty levels again during this Unit.

     

     Closing:

    The day’s lesson will be summarized during the last few minutes of class.  It will be explained that percentages are used around the world daily to calculate such items as the portion of the population within each country that lives below the poverty level.  By using poverty level as an example, students will be able to understand the number of people living in poverty around the world, while learning an important mathematical tool of converting percentages to numbers or vice versa.

     

    Footnotes

    [i]BBC News. "The US Poverty Challenge Facing Donald Trump" BBC. 2017. Web. 28 Feb.

    2016.

    [ii]"Institute for Research on Poverty." Institute for Research on Poverty | University of Wisconsin–Madison. University of Wisconsin, 2016. Web. 23 Apr. 2017