Poverty And Inequality In Australia - Making Ends Meet

Poverty And Inequality In Australia - Making Ends Meet

Lesson 5 of 5 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 5 - 6
  • Mathematics
  • Social
  • Equality
  • Homelessness
  • Human Rights
  • Social Action
  • ...

Lesson summary

This lesson aims to help students understand the difference between the poverty line and the amount of government income support available for someone who is unemployed. While working through the tasks, students will begin to notice the difficulties that are experienced by many Australians and consider the expenses needed to live; calculate essential daily costs and apply them to a budget. 

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand the difference between the poverty line and the amount of government income support available
  • discover the general cost of living expenses
  • calculate essential daily costs and apply them to a budget
  • factor funds availability and how to budget based on income.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • articulate the difference between the poverty line and government income support
  • apply mathematical critical thinking skills to analyse real-life scenarios about people living below the poverty line
  • create a budget based on the basic cost of living
  • calculate the amount of money needed to spend on essentials and whether this falls above or below the poverty line
  • understand why it is essential for the government to increase the level of income support payments.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info
Jack Simulation Task Answers
Jack Simulation Task Worksheet

Lesson details

Curriculum Mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 5 Mathematics:

  • Use efficient mental and written strategies and apply appropriate digital technologies to solve problems (ACMNA291)
  • Create simple financial plans (ACMNA106)

Year 6 Mathematics:

  • Select and apply efficient mental and written strategies and appropriate digital technologies to solve problems involving all four operations with whole numbers (ACMNA123)

Syllabus outcomes: MA3-1WM, MA3-2WM, MA3-3WM, MA3-4NA, MA3-5NA.

General capabilities: Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding.

Relevant parts of Year 5 achievement standards: 
By the end of Year 5, students solve simple problems involving the four operations using a range of strategies. They explain plans for simple budgets.

Relevant parts of Year 6 achievement standards:
By the end of Year 6, students describe the use of integers in everyday contexts, solve problems involving all four operations with whole numbers and they add, subtract and multiply decimals and divide decimals where the result is rational.

Resources Required

  • Printed copies of the Fact sheet from Anti-Poverty Week: Fast Facts – Poverty in Australia
  • Printed copies of Jack Simulation Task (Student Worksheet) and answer sheet for the Jack Simulation Task (for the teacher)
  • Sticky notes
  • Pocket calculators, working out paper OR other digital devices (per student) for budgeting activities
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student

Skills

This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • critical thinking
  • community engagement
  • ethical understanding
  • empathy
  • global citizenship
  • social skills
  • problem solving      

Additional Info

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teachers will need to guide class conversations around the cost of living, present factual information regarding the poverty line in Australia, and assist students with accessing digital support materials (in Microsoft Excel) for the budgeting exercise.

These lessons have been designed in consultation with Anti-Poverty Week and ACOSS/UNSW Poverty and Inequality Partnership.

The content and information in these lessons may be overwhelming and cause some students to experience heightened emotions.

Please ensure you allow students to ask questions and to discuss any issues or concerns. Before teaching the lesson, you may consider conducting a class check-in or circle time to establish a safe learning environment. Inform students that this might be a complex topic for them to comprehend. However, let your students know that differences in people’s incomes and wealth are nothing to be ashamed of and that these may be beyond the control of individuals and families – for example, some have more luck than others in landing a good job.

Assure students that organisations and campaigns are working towards decreasing poverty in Australia, and if they would like more information, they can visit the Anti Poverty Week website and the Poverty and Inequality website.

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