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World Poverty Living on One Dollar a Day Unit Print & Digital

Grade Levels
8th - 12th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
40 PDF + 25 Google Slides pages + 25 PPT slides
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Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).


Explore extreme world poverty using a variety of sources with this eye-opening 2-3 week PBL unit that will leave your students feeling thankful, aware, and empowered to create change.

All student resources come in both printable PDF and editable, digital Google Slides.

Almost half of the world lives on $5.50 a day or less. At least 70% of all humans live on $10 or less. While those are shocking, the most extreme, $1 a day, is the reality for nearly 800 million people.


Greatness is recognizing and addressing the extreme income disparity that exists in the world.

Few American teenagers know the world beyond their own surroundings and many have no idea that the vast majority of fellow humans live in a world of abject poverty, unsanitary conditions, and limited means of opportunity.

Guide your students through a wide variety of sources, from statistics and photos to documentaries and news articles and even a quick service project, as they wonder and build towards answering this not-so-simple question: “What is it like to really live on $1 a day?”

You will set each of your students up for success in this high interest, multi-faceted project-based unit, regardless of ability, with highly scaffolded graphic organizers, skill sheets, and supplemental resources included at each step of the way.

Empower your students to become globally aware and engaged citizens in this 2-3 week unit!

Included in this inquiry unit:

Teacher Materials

  • Unit overview detailed daily lesson plans
  • Student-friendly rubrics & answer keys
  • Editable PowerPoint with student directions, questions, and images

Student Materials - Activities & Projects

  • Concept Definition Sheet to record and reflect on learning
  • By the Numbers statistical analysis activity
  • A Picture is Worth photo analysis activity
  • Guatemala's Story in-depth look at one country's struggle
  • Living on One Dollar documentary analysis activity for the film, Living on One Dollar a Day, based on a small Guatemalan village
  • Extreme World Poverty Graph & Map analysis to better understand the world-wide implications of extreme poverty
  • United Nations' SDGs explore the Sustainability Development Goals and how they are reducing worldwide poverty
  • Current Event Research & Discussion Project research one impoverished country, share and reflect collaboratively in a class discussion
  • Micro-Loan Project to decide and fulfill a person’s request for funds
  • BONUS Skill Sheets: Annotating a Text, Analyzing News Media Sources, Annotating a Citation, Creating a Works Cited

Note: the film is easy to find online, either to stream for free or to purchase inexpensively. Links are provided.


Note to Homeschoolers

Though the included teacher lesson plans are written to fully support a traditional classroom teacher, this resource is also a great fit for your teenage homeschooler:

  • the inquiry, thematic structure of this unit is driven by critical thinking, reading, and writing skills and a central high-interest question
  • a wide ability range can easily access the rich variety of sources utilized in this unit,
  • your student’s voice is central to each activity, through talking out their learning, maximizing the one-on-one
  • most activities can be completed independently and aren’t solely reliant on group or whole-class work
  • all utilized sources are free and easily obtainable; either included or accessible online (links provided)
  • this unit is independent of a textbook, though one could be used for greater background knowledge
  • any one activity can easily be left out to customize for your student’s skill level or personal interest


Want just the film guide?

Living On One Dollar a Day Film Kit: watch the powerful documentary with this accompanying kit

Interested in more Global Issues stand-alone units like this one?

These units can be easily integrated into your Current Events, Human Geography, or Environmental Science course (more units coming!)

  • Population Growth: a 3-week unit exploring what the simultaneous global problem of explosive population growth as well as alarming decline
  • Globalization: a 4-week unit exploring the exponential growth of trade, technology, and travel that has created unbelievable global economic and cultural change
  • Water Supply & Pollution: a 3-week unit exploring our finite freshwater supply and the human rights, pollution, and conservation issues that need urgent solutions
  • Fossil Fuels & Alternatives: a 3-week unit exploring our addiction to oil, the harsh impact it is having on our air pollution and greenhouse gas levels, and the urgent need to switch to clean renewable energy sources
  • Plastic & Garbage: a 3-week unit exploring the modern invention of garbage, landfills, and single-use disposables, the effects it is having on our oceans, and how a zero-waste lifestyle can be possible
  • Global Priorities Research Project: a 2-option, 2-3 week capstone research project where students complete either a one-pager or research essay on the global issue they find most pressing

Or check out the Global Issues to Empower course for real impact

This semester-long thematic PBL course combines current events, human geography, environmental science to create engaged and empowered global citizens

This listing is for one license for regular, non-commercial classroom use by a single teacher only. In upholding copyright law, PDF resources are uneditable and resources made for Google Classroom have some editing abilities. By purchasing a license to this resource, you have access to all future updates at no cost, available under “My Purchases". Multiple and transferable licenses are available for purchase. To request a complete terms of use prior to purchase or if you have any questions about this resource, please leave a question below under Product Q&A.

Total Pages
40 PDF + 25 Google Slides pages + 25 PPT slides
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


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