Activity Introduction

elderly man on a train Quick summary: This lesson will introduce students to some health-related impacts of poverty in Australian communities. Students will analyse health and poverty-related data and discuss what this data indicates about poverty, as well as investigate why poverty and health outcomes are intrinsically linked. The class will collaborate and practice teamwork to explore one aspect of poverty-related health, discuss how living in poverty might cause these health problems and offer solutions.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand how living below the poverty line can impact health outcomes
  • Students understand the relationship between living in poverty, health outcomes and well-being
  • Students discover positive ways our community can help support people living in poverty.

21st-century skills: 

  Creative ThinkingCritical ThinkingEmpathyGlobal CitizenshipInitiativeProblem FindingProblem Solving          

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 5 & 6 HPE:

  • Investigate community resources and ways to seek help about health, safety and wellbeing (ACPPS053)
  • Investigate the role of preventive health in promoting and maintaining health, safety and wellbeing for individuals and their communities (ACPPS058)

Syllabus outcomes: PD3-1, PD3-2, PD,3-3, PD3-10

General capabilities: Numeracy, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding.

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 achievement standards: 

By the end of Year 6, students explain the influence of people and places on identities. They describe their own and others’ contributions to health, physical activity, safety and wellbeing. They describe the key features of health-related fitness and the significance of physical activity participation to health and wellbeing.
Students access and interpret health information and apply decision-making and problem-solving skills to enhance their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing.

Topic: Poverty and Inequality in Australia

Time required: 80+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teacher will need to set up and show video, scaffold class discussion and inquiry questions, organise student teams and topics and guide the final plenary session.

Resources required:

  • Access to the Internet and YouTube
  • A device capable of projecting infographics and videos with sound (or some other device to play video clips to the class)
  • Poster paper and writing materials OR digital devices and access to collaborative sharing software, such as Padlet (Teachers could set up Padlets for each topic area beforehand and send these links to each group).
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student

Keywords: Health, poverty, wellbeing, health outcomes.

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


Teacher Worksheet

elderly man on trainTeacher 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

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