Poverty Simulations are a popular way to teach students what it looks like not only to live in poverty, but also how much it takes to pay for different things that they might take for granted.
I struggled finding a way to teach our middle schoolers specifically about poverty, especially since most poverty simulations are created with adults in mind, and adaptable enough for high schoolers. So, I created my own! You can adapt this simulation for any size group, with or without volunteers.
We played this for the first time this summer at our day camp for 5th though 8th graders, and we learned a lot! This can be a frustrating experience at first for middles — ours were ready to quit 5 minutes in because they ran out of money. But, it’s helpful to keep the game moving and just let them start over. After the second round, they will begin to get a hang of it! We also learned you need to print a TON of income sheets…. like more than I estimated.