When tackling this topic it is important not to fall back on stereotypes – both poverty and wealth exist in all countries in the world and the reasons behind poverty are complex. Using personal stories can be a good way to build understanding and sympathy for those who live in poverty but it is important not to generalise and to help pupils find common ground with people whose lives might at first appear very different.
Extreme poverty is a challenge that faces many less economically developed countries, with 2 billion people around the world living below the poverty line (on less than $2 a day). There are some big questions for pupils to grapple with, such as:
The following links and articles provide useful background information to help you teach about poverty:
Global Dimension: Poverty and Human Rights Feature article exploring how extreme poverty undermines human rights
SOS Children’s Villages - Our Africa: Poverty Useful exploration of what poverty means in Africa, including video clips
Guardian: Poverty matters blog Blog posts on the Guardian global development website
Useful teaching resources about poverty:
SOS Children’s Villages: Our Africa teaching resources website Key Stage 3 resources developed around video clips produced by young people from different African countries. Includes a range on the topic of ‘poverty and healthcare’
UNICEF: Just Living Key Stage 3+ resource exploring global citizenship and economic well being
Christian Aid: The paper bag game Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3+ activity that gives an insight into what life is like for poor people trying to earn a living
For further teaching resources, browse through the following searches:
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3
We welcome suggestions for useful articles and teaching resources on the topic of Poverty. Please email them to email@example.com.