This lesson aims to help students understand the difference between the poverty line and the amount of government income support available for someone who is unemployed. While working through the tasks, students will begin to notice the difficulties that are experienced by many Australians and consider the expenses needed to live; calculate essential daily costs and apply them to a budget.
- Students will understand the amount of government income support available when someone is unemployed
- Students will understand the cost of living in Australia and why it is difficult to afford the essentials such as housing, clothing, food, healthcare and transport when income is low
- Students will become aware of some of the actual (estimated) costs of living by gathering general data from their families and/or friends
- Students will learn some basic weekly budgeting skills based on realistic estimates of living costs
- Students will empathise with others living on incomes below the poverty line by comparing what they would like to spend on goods and services and what others can afford to spend when they’re living in poverty.
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 5 Mathematics:
- Use efficient mental and written strategies and apply appropriate digital technologies to solve problems (ACMNA291)
- Create simple financial plans (ACMNA106)
Year 6 Mathematics:
- Select and apply efficient mental and written strategies and appropriate digital technologies to solve problems involving all four operations with whole numbers (ACMNA123)
Syllabus outcomes: MA3-1WM, MA3-2WM, MA3-3WM, MA3-4NA, MA3-5NA.
General capabilities: Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding.
Relevant parts of Year 5 achievement standards:
By the end of Year 5, students solve simple problems involving the four operations using a range of strategies. They explain plans for simple budgets.
Relevant parts of Year 6 achievement standards:
By the end of Year 6, students describe the use of integers in everyday contexts, solve problems involving all four operations with whole numbers and they add, subtract and multiply decimals and divide decimals where the result is rational.
Topic: Poverty and Inequality in Australia
Time required: 60 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teachers will need to guide class conversations around the cost of living, present factual information regarding the poverty line in Australia, and assist students with accessing digital support materials (in Microsoft Excel) for the budgeting exercise.
- Printed copies of the Fact sheet from Anti-Poverty Week: Fast Facts – Poverty in Australia
- Printed copies of Jack Simulation Task (Student Worksheet) and answer sheet for the Jack Simulation Task (for the teacher)
- Sticky notes
- Pocket calculators, working out paper OR other digital devices (per student) for budgeting activities
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student.
Keywords: households, expenditure, income, budget, spreadsheet, poverty line, needs, wants.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.