The Poverty Game

It’s a teaching tool, it’s a game, it’s a way to build empathy – or at least give yourself an ulcer for a semester.

The Poverty Game was part of a Women’s Studies course at St Cloud University. Classes were divided in families, given an income range and roles.

Family members are given jobs and incomes and told their living arrangements (apartment rentals, mortgage payments, or fully paid for homes)

A basic budget is issued – standard rent, utilities, costs of medical expenses, clothing and food ($150 per person) etc…

Periodically the families would be given a “Life Happens” notice. The primary wage earner would die, lose a job, leave the family. A Child would develope special needs requiring extra time and money from the adults. Natural disasters would ensue.  Homes will leak, cars break down, unexpected pregnancies happen.

The object of the course it to teach students to creatively problem solve and realize that sometimes poverty is a result of “life happens” and not a reflection of character.

READ MORE ♥♥ The Poverty Game with scenarios: http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/poverty_game2.html

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