We are following up on our observation that many of the murals we have seen seem to be painted in more impoverished neighborhoods. The issue of distribution of wealth is a very relevant topic to our study of communities and social justice, so today we are exploring our beliefs about poverty and what exactly poverty means.
We started by discussing and identifying whether or not we agree or disagree with this statement: "Individuals are responsible for living in poverty. They have no one to blame but themselves." The whole group felt neutral about this statement giving reasons about people they know who are responsible for having less money due to actions like gambling, while recognizing that there are some factors that are out of people's control like health expenses.
We defined the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and identified the FPL for households of 2, 3, and 4 people. Then, using the internet, we began calculating the actual cost of living in the cities we live in. We consulted websites like Craigslist, Kaiser, and PG&E. We created a grocery list, so we can do pricing research at the grocery store later today. Most parts of this lesson comes from Teaching Tolerance, which is one of my favorite resources for exploring social justice.
While on the topic of money, we calculated our NOMAD bank account balances using our daily pay. Everyone is required to do the math for every transaction - money coming in and money going out. We went over some mental math strategies and noticed patterns in our arithmetic to make things easier.
The rain forced us to stay inside during park, but we were excited to get some reading time and One Night game play time. We haven't played One Night since last semester, so it felt good to get our Werewolf groove back on.
We took off on foot to the local Safeway for our research about the cost of living (specifically groceries). On the way, we noticed this mural.
At Safeway, kids took note of prices for their estimated weekly grocery list.
We had to adjust our lists a few times realizing that what we anticipated as enough food for two people for a week wasn't much at all.