1.1 Caught in Poverty

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IN THIS LESSON, you will listen to a presentation about the causes of poverty, read an article about Liz Murray, and make a list of causes and effects.

Discussion Questions

Watch the video, and then discuss the following questions with a partner.

  1. How do you define poverty?
  2. Why is poverty considered an endless cycle?
  3. Why do children suffer the most?
  4. How do you think poverty affects children? Explain.

Presentation Outline

  1. Definitions of Poverty
    • Lack of resources
    • A feeling of not belonging
  2. Facts & Figures – Poverty in the United States
    • Declining over the last five years
    • 2014 – 14.8%
    • 2019 – 10.3%
    • Poverty Threshold in U.S. about $1,065 a month
    • Poverty increased with people over 25 with no high school degree
  3. Five reasons for poverty in U.S..
    • Family History – child learns from parents and repeats the same thing
    • The Unexpected – disasters, failing economy
    • Disabilities – major illness and accidents
    • Discrimination – unfair treatment of others, isolates people
    • Poor Choices – take drugs, drop out of school, make wrong friends
  4. Strong correlation between education and poverty
    • World Vision – “One of the biggest contributors to ending poverty is ensuring children have an education. . . . even the most basic education – reading, writing and arithmetic – can open doors to futures that would otherwise be shut.”
    • The Liz Murray Story – underlines the importance of education and determination in escaping poverty.
TIP: Cause and Effect

When we talk about the cause of something, we are talking about the reasons why something happened.  And when we talk about the effects, we are talking about the results of something happening.

For example, if we are sleeping and do not hear the alarm clock, we’ll probably oversleep and get up late. So what is the cause, or reason for getting up late? Not hearing the alarm.  What is the effect, or what are the results of not hearing the alarm clock? It’s oversleeping and getting up late.


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