Poverty

March 2, 2014

Students read President Johnson's March 1964 speech to Congress outlining the War on Poverty and, in small groups, use a graphic organizer to explore how values of justice and equity were translated into policies and programs. They consider: What beliefs led to declaring a war on poverty? And what...

January 16, 2014

Benefits have just been cut for the one in seven Americans who receive food stamps, and more cuts may be on the way. In two readings, students learn about the debate over food stamps and the effect of cuts, and compare the US approach to hunger to that of other countries. 

January 13, 2014

This lesson focuses on a less well-known part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, but one that is extremely relevant today: the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. King led over 40 years ago. The lesson links this campaign to current struggles to combat poverty in the US, including efforts by workers at...

March 22, 2013

This activity uses a 6-minute video about wealth inequality that has gone viral on the internet with small-group activities to help students explore what they think U.S. wealth distribution currently is, what they think it should be, what it actually is, and what they might do about it.  (For a non...

April 26, 2012

TeachableMoment marks the 50th anniversary of Michael Harrington's influential book with a series of readings and discussion questions for high school students. In Part II, readings focus on the debate about who should count as poor in this country and proposals for combating poverty.

April 5, 2012

Two student readings, with discussion questions, provide an overview of Harrington's book and consider the state of poverty in the U.S. now.

July 23, 2011

Readings and activities to help high school students better understand the growing gap between rich and poor and consider the issue in light of this year's presidential election. 

November 3, 2010

Student readings and discussion questions explore 1) the growth of U.S. poverty; 2) multiple perspectives on the causes, effects, and proposed solutions of poverty; 3) the historic levels of inequality; 4) multiple perspectives on the causes and effects of inequality and some proposed solutions; and...

December 16, 2009

Students consider our 10% unemployment rate from a numerical, social and emotional perspective, including through photos from the Great Depression.

October 31, 2006

Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus shows how much one person can do to address a huge problem like poverty. A student reading summarizes Yunus' work and leads to suggestions for student action on an issue that concerns them.