The Struggle: Work, Poverty, & What We Can Do

Author: Charlie McGeehan

School/Organization:

The U School

Year: 2019

Seminar: Learning about America and the World from McDonald’s

Grade Level: 12

Keywords: activism, fast food, poverty, struggle

School Subject(s): English, Social Studies

In the United States, poverty is often associated with blame and shame. The goal of this unit is to help students, especially those who have experienced the struggle, to develop a nuanced understanding of poverty and to consider what can be done to eliminate it. Students will focus both on understanding the experiences of people close to them who have experienced poverty and on contextualizing these experiences by connecting them with data and research. Students will explore the connection between work and poverty in America, the conditions of workers in the fast food industry, data on poverty in Philadelphia, and historical examples of strategies to change the conditions of those facing poverty. As the culminating performance task, students will create a page for a class website that highlights an alternative vision of poverty and the struggle, connecting the story of their interviewee to context and ultimately considering which strategy might work best to improve conditions for their interviewee and others like them. Students will use skills in interviewing, reading, and informational writing to move their perspectives on poverty from blame and shame to action and justice.

Download Unit: McGeehan-C.-19.03.02.pdf

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