Activity Introduction

APW_Fotoframe_1Quick summary: This lesson presents students with some basic facts and figures regarding what poverty in Australia looks like and how a range of people may experience it. It will also introduce the number and percentage of people, such as children, who live in poverty, as well as some solutions that would reduce poverty. In small teams, students discuss their ideas about the likely or possible impacts of poverty on different people in the community. They then use elements of the persuasive text to structure and compose an orally delivered argument for reducing poverty in Australian communities.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand what poverty is and that poverty exists in Australia
  • Students will gain awareness of different groups of people in our community who are more likely to be in poverty at different times of their lives
  • Students work together to create a simple argument for reducing poverty for a particular group of people and present this verbally to the class.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingEmpathyEthical UnderstandingGlobal CitizenshipProblem FindingProblem Solving           

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 3 English:

  • Listen to and contribute to conversations and discussions to share information and ideas and negotiate in collaborative situations (ACELY1676)
  • Plan and deliver short presentations, providing some key details in logical sequence (ACELY1677)

Year 4 English:

  • Interpret ideas and information in spoken texts and listen for key points in order to carry out tasks and use the information to share and extend ideas and information (ACELY1687)
  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations incorporating learned content and taking into account the particular purposes and audiences (ACELY1689).

Syllabus outcomes: EN2-4A, EN2-2A, EN2-7B, EN2-9B, EN2-12E

General capabilities: Literacy, Creative and Critical Thinking, Ethical Understanding

Relevant parts of Year 3 achievement standards: 

By the end of Year 3, students understand how language can be used to express feelings and opinions on topics. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, asking questions and providing useful feedback and making presentations, and they create a range of texts for familiar and unfamiliar audiences.

Relevant parts of Year 4 achievement standards: 

By the end of Year 4, students understand how to express an opinion based on information in a text. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, varying language according to context and they use language features to create coherence and add detail to their texts. Students create structured texts to explain ideas for different audiences.

Topic: Poverty and Inequality in Australia

Time required: 110 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – present introductory PowerPoint; organise small group discussions and facilitate a whole-class discussion.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting video, data and a PowerPoint to the class
  • Community Cards and Questions – (to be cut out and given out to each group) 
  • PowerPoint presentation: The Facts about Poverty in Australia (provided).

Keywords: poverty, inequality, Australia, community, health. 

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_1Teacher 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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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: “Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit.”
— Eli Khamarov.

1. See, Think, Wonder

Look through the Poverty and Inequality Infographic, 2020 and share your thoughts by completing the see, think, wonder table below:


2. Cause and effect thinking map

 Complete the thinking map to show your understanding of poverty and how it can occur.

Cause and Effect Flow Chart _jpeg

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