Activity Introduction

APW_Fotoframe_2Quick summary: This lesson presents students with an introduction to income and wealth. The class will watch an animated YouTube clip that aims to address the meaning of income and wealth inequality in Australia and why it is problematic.

To help students understand the distribution of wealth, they will use their mathematical thinking skills to work out fractions (of a whole) on a number line and in simple data displays – using the current ABS data.

A practical and interactive exercise will encourage students to play a game of Monopoly based on income and wealth inequality statistics. Students should begin to realise how their income and inequality can affect their ability to make purchases (and remain in the game) compared to other players.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the difference between ‘income’ and wealth’
  • Students can interpret simply animated and graphical representations of the distribution of income and wealth in Australia, and relate this to the concept of ‘fairness’ and ‘sharing’
  • Students use concrete materials to model simple fractions and the ‘sharing’ of fractions of amounts between even groups of people
  • Students solve problems of sharing using simple fractions and represent this on a simple data display.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingEmpathyEthical UnderstandingGlobal CitizenshipInitiativeProblem FindingProblem SolvingTeam Work           

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 3 Mathematics:

  • Recall multiplication facts of two, three, five and ten and related division facts (ACMNA056)
  • Represent and solve problems involving multiplication using efficient mental and written strategies and appropriate digital technologies (ACMNA057)
  • Represent money values in multiple ways and count the change required for simple transactions to the nearest five cents (ACMNA059)

Year 4 Mathematics:

  • Recall multiplication facts up to 10 × 10 and related division facts (ACMNA075)
  • Develop efficient mental and written strategies and use appropriate digital technologies for multiplication and for division where there is no remainder (ACMNA076)
  • Solve problems involving purchases and the calculation of change to the nearest five cents with and without digital technologies (ACMNA080)

Syllabus outcomes: MA2-2WM, MA2-3WM, MA2-4NA, MA2-5NA, MA2-6NA. 

General capabilities: Numeracy, Creative and Critical Thinking, Ethical Understanding.

Relevant parts of Year 3 achievement standards: 

At the end of grade 3 students recognise the connection between addition and subtraction and solve problems using efficient strategies for multiplication

Relevant parts of Year 4 achievement standards: 

At the end of grade 4 students choose appropriate strategies and calculations involving multiplication and division.

Topic: Poverty and Inequality in Australia

Time required: 90 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding:  Medium – facilitate class discussion

Resources required:

  • Access to the Internet and the YouTube video
  • A device capable to project and present the YouTube clip to class (ensure sound works)
  • Dice (6 sided) per group.
  • Printed copies of Monopoly Game Board per group

Keywords: Income, wealth, sharing, fair share, per cent, money, poverty, inequality. 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

APW_Fotoframe_2Teacher Preparation

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 (

Learning intentions

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.