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The resource "Building Blocks for a Good Life" explores concepts related to poverty. Through a simulation students consider poverty in terms of a "lack of opportunities" rather than a "lack of basic needs" . This helps students develop empathy and reduce judgement.
Students rank the building blocks for a good life using Lego blocks labelled with terms such as exercise, access to a phone, access to medicine, and other factors in order of importance. The activity continues with class discussions based on focused questions to challenge the students' thoughts and understanding of the issue of poverty.
This activity is a good fit for the social studies classroom to address the concepts of poverty, resources, wealth and citizenship. It could also be used to develop the students understanding of poverty prior to beginning a community service project to help the underprivileged.
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