Lesson Plan

Spent! An Introduction to Understanding Poverty

Students will be introduced to the concept of the "working poor" in effort to build empathy, encourage responsible decision making and commit to personal financial literacy.
Tamela C.
Media specialist/librarian
Chicago Vocational Career Academy
Chicago, United States
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to...

Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

English Language Arts
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Play Spent: Poverty Simulation


Students will be introduced to the topic via the Spent! Game. Students will be asked to jot down their feelings as they work through the process of trying to maintain a quality of life within the confines of a budget.  Students will be asked to reflect on the overall experience at the conclusion of the game including, but not limited to their thoughts at the beginning of the game and at the end.

Student Instructions

You will play a simulation game called Spent!  Write down your thoughts and feelings before, during and after the game.  Write a 1-page expereince on your overall experience addressing the following: What ideas, if any, did you have about poverty?  How do you feel about poverty now? What, if anything, changed your mind?  Type your thoughts in a 1-2 page, 12-point font, double spaced document.

2 Investigating the Causes of Poverty

Free, Paid

Students will be asked to use the following essential questions to guide their research:

What causes poverty?

What can be done to alleviate the plight of the working poor?

Students will be reminded to keep these questions in mind as they read to gather accurate information.

Students will also be asked to generate a list of additional guided reading questions.

Students will be asked to set up a Diigo account to use while conducting online research.  Students will review mini lesson on choosing and authoritative website.  Students will use the outliner tool in Diigo to oganize their thoughts.    


Student Instructions

Consider the following essential questions t

What causes poverty?

What can be done to alleviate the plight of the working poor?

What other questions do these questions bring up for you? Generate a list of 5 additional questions (i.e.  what is the criteria for determing poverty?) You will use these questions to help guide your research.

Create a Diigo account to use while conducting online research.  Use the outliner, highlight and annotate tools to help you paraphrase information.  Consider the following when choosing websites:







3 Creating a Works Cited Page

Free, Paid
Google Drive
Free, Paid

Students will be asked to sign into their student Google accounts.

Students will visit the easybib site.  

Students will be asked to build and export a works cited page to their Google Drive.

Student Instructions

Log in to your student Google account.

Open a second tab to visit easybib.com

Build your works cited page.  Export to the google drive when done.