LA 5.1: Poverty and Choices

Life on the Edge


Learning Outcome Pedagogical Intent Student Position

Provide support and advocacy for students and their families.

Communicate a personal acceptance of and acknowledge the dynamics of culture in the lives of all students.

Assessment: 25 pts.

TA: 10 Minutes

Teachers can use ESL standards, government programs, and knowledge of students who live in poverty and trauma to better prepare their students to be able to learn.

Students have been learning about poverty, Title 1, ESSA, OCR, WIDA, and the National PTA Standards.  This session presents information about children who live in trauma and present ways to assist them in feeling comfortable and able to work at school.


  1. Many of our students find themselves in families where the minimum wage is what the family members individually make at their jobs. In fact, they often work multiple jobs to stay ‘above water’. Notice that the subtitle for the game is ‘The Minimum Wage Game’. In this activity you are going to engage in a game that explores the decisions families who live on a minimum wage face daily, weekly, and monthly. 
  2. For this activity you will need the game mat, a penny and a marker (a bean) for each participant. Click on the game mat from this link. It is entitled “Life on the Edge”.  
  3. In th game you will each take your turn by flipping the coin and advancing your marker either one space for TAILS, or 2 spaces for HEADS.  Note where your marker is and follow the instructions on the game mat. 
  4. You will be playing this game intermittently across the session. Therefore, during this session, the facilitator will stop several times after a learning activity and ask you to take a turn again. 
  5. As you play the game, try to discover why things work the way they do and what society might do to change situations like these.

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