Life on Less Than $1 a Day (2/20)
One billion people must live on less than $1 a day. This lesson highlights children who live in such abject poverty that they cannot go to school. To help students understand the limitations of this allowance, they will create a budget for living on less than $1 a day. The lesson plan includes worksheets detailing the costs of basics—food, housing, school fees, clothing, etc.—for selected countries.
This is part 2 of 20 from the Student Voices against Poverty: MDG Campaign Curriculum Project. To view the entire curriculum, including supplemental information and resources on the MDGs and poverty, visit: http://www.takingitglobal.org/resources/toolkits/view.html?ToolkitID=1425
Time Required: 60 minutes
1. appreciate the cost of essential items in different locales and budget for them,
2. understand how to make a budget with a limited income, and
3. appreciate the dire situation associated with living on less than $1 a day.
1. Ask the students to take out their copies of the MDGs and review. Stress that the goals are interconnected. Explain how hunger and poverty (Goal 1) impact all aspects of a person’s life and thus all the MDGs. For example, when people suffer from extreme
poverty and hunger:
Goal 1: They do not have enough money to buy food or the energy to work.
Goal 2: Parents can’t afford to pay their children’s school costs.
Goal 3: Instead of attending school, girls must work to help the family earn money.
Goal 4: Children die of preventable causes, such as diarrhea, because they are malnourished and thus can’t fight illness.
Goal 5: A pregnant woman won’t have a skilled medical attendant to help at delivery because she can’t afford transportation to a clinic in a distant town.
Goal 6: People can’t buy critical drugs that help them fight HIV/AIDS or insecticide-treated bed nets to protect them from malaria-infected mosquitoes.
Goal 7: Deforestation continues because the poor must burn wood for fuel.
Goal 8: Not enough of the world’s resources are being mobilized. Although the world has the means to achieve Goal 1, the political will does not yet exist.
2. Explain that extreme poverty is generally defined as living on less than $1 a day. Take a quick poll to assess how much things such as rent, utilities, bus rides, food, medicine, and clothing cost. While the American cost of living is much higher than that of people living in extreme poverty in developing countries, it will help to illustrate
how little $1 a day really buys.
3. Tell the students to imagine that their families must survive on only $1 a day per person. To help them better understand the challenges of the poorest people, divide
the class into five cooperative learning groups.
4. Once they are in their groups, distribute the worksheets to each group. Remember to distribute a different cost of living sheet to each group. This sheet will give the exchange rate from U.S. $1 to the local currency and list the prices of basic items in the country.
5. Review the procedure for completing the budget. Explain that this is a monthly budget for only one person.
a. First, they will compute and fill in the numbers for the cost for one person to survive with the basics in the Need column.
b. They should then write the monthly amount they have to spend at the bottom of the Afford column and at the bottom of the page.
c. Using only the money available, they must fill in the cost for the items that they must have and that they can afford. Write these amounts in the Afford column. They may not exceed their monthly income.
d. Note that the bus ride/transportation cost generally refers to the cost of taking a bus from one end of the capital city to the other end. Note: Usually, the poor must walk extraordinarily long distances simply because they don’t have the few cents to take a bus.
e. Next, they should enter the cost of the items that they need but cannot afford in the Can’t Have column.
f. They will then add the figures in each column and enter the total at the bottom of the column.
g. Finally, they must compute the amount from the Can’t Afford column for three, five, and seven people in a household.
h. They will have 15–20 minutes to complete the sheet.
6. When the students have finished, ask each group to briefly stand and respond to the following quick questions:
• What was difficult about the task?
• What was easy?
• What did you really need that you couldn’t afford?
7. After all groups have given their input, ask students to think about how they would care for and feed their family after realizing their budget limitations. What would
Further Questions for Discussion
• How do people live on less than $1 a day?
• Could you live on less than $1 a day?
Have students research the cost of living in other countries and prepare cost-of-living sheets. They can do this by interviewing people from different countries or researching on the Internet.
1. If the students have not saved their goal sheets from the previous lesson, copy Millennium Development Goals 1–7 and Correlating Targets for each student.
2. Copy one budget worksheet for each group.
3. Copy one Country Cost of Living sheet for each group. Each group should get a different country.
The assessment in this activity consists of listening to students interact in their groups as they complete the worksheet. By ensuring that all students are engaged and on topic, evaluation will consist of assessment of comments made, questions asked, and responses given.
-Millennium Development Goals 1–7 and Correlating Targets (from previous lesson) -Living on $1 a Day Budget (for each group) -Country Cost of Living (for each group) NOTE: You will need to download the original curriculum in order to access the supplemental resources needed to implement this activity. Visit http://www.takingitglobal.org/resources/toolkits/view.html?ToolkitID=1425 to download the entire curriculum. Required supplemental resources for this activity are pages 43-49. The Standards Alignment rubric for this activity is on page 42 of the curriculum guide.
No comments have been posted yet. You could be first!
Please login to post a comment.