Suggested Age Range: High School + College/University
A more mindful movement to end global poverty will mean finding solutions that require a radical new way of thinking about the problem. By asking your students to live on $2 a day, we hope to push them outside their comfort zone. Students will critically engage with and empathetically reevaluate global poverty and their role in its end. We will not end poverty by living on $2 a day; but, we may just end our Hero-Complex.
- Get to know what we do NOT know about the economic lives of the poor.
- Unlearn what we have learned about the end of global poverty.
- Reconsider our role in the story of poverty’s end
- Move from Hero to Sidekick!
STEP 1 – EDUCATOR ACTION
The Two Dollar Challenge is a unique and impactful experiential learning exercise. Review the resources below and introduce the idea of taking on the Two Dollar Challenge with your students.
Register for the Two Dollar Challenge App:The TDC APP allows participants to track expenses, income & record daily reflections. And, for advanced levels, it allows participants to randomize their daily income & experience economic ‘shocks.’
Select SIMA Classroom films: We’ve integrated the Challenge with SIMA Classroom films to provide context for your students. Educator selects three to five films and screens them in class. The number of films screened can vary depending on how long the educator wants the lesson to run.
STEP 2 – COLLECTIVE ACTION
Students form groups and review the films and Two Dollar Challenge resources. They should discuss questions such as: what do I expect to experience or learn from taking on the Challenge; what will I personally find difficult; and what makes this approach different to other strategies to end global poverty?
STEP 3 – CRITICAL THINKING
Students are tasked with putting together a plan for how they will implement the Two Dollar Challenge. For instance: how they will meet the Rules of the Challenge; what do they think they will need to purchase with their two dollars per day; or how will they provide a central source of water? Prospective participants can find everything they need for their Two Dollar Challenge on the RESOURCES.
STEP 4 – PRESENTATION / TAKE ACTION
Students take part in the Two Dollar Challenge. The Challenge is not about strict adherence to the rules. It should be a personal journey towards becoming a more empathetic and humble member of the global community. You should provide opportunities for your students to reflect on their experience during or at the end of the Challenge.
General Lesson Duration:
The Two Dollar Challenge should last from 3 to 5 days. You may wish to introduce the idea in a series of lessons in the weeks before the Challenge begins.
General Bonus Options:
- Select a non-profit partner that implements a development program that addresses your cause (e.g., education, microfinance, water, or HIV Aids), raise awareness and funds, and transfer all donations to your chosen non-profit partner.
- We ask participants to go beyond the constraint of living on $2 per day. Among other rules, participants are asked to build makeshift shelters on campus, choose a spigot on campus as their one and only place to gain access to water, and boil their water before consuming it. Through these additional constraints (and others), we create the need for interdependence among participants. Building shelters, gaining reliable access to water, and being able to make bulk purchases at the grocery store requires cooperation. By creating the need for cooperation, we hasten the formation of community. Community is the key.
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- A Way Forward
- The Conscious Hood: Being Black is No Crime
- Clear As Day: The Free Tech That’s Saving The Sight & Lives of Guatamela’s Children
- Understanding and critically evaluating a social issue.
- Engaging with the ecosystem of a social issue and applying it to one’s own community.
- Student collaboration.
- Learning how to structure and execute an actionable campaign.
- Readings that accompany each day of the 5 day Two Dollar Challenge.
This engagement model aligns with Global Competency standards, including:
Global competence is the capacity to analyze global and intercultural issues critically and from multiple perspectives, to understand how differences affect perceptions, judgments, and ideas of self and others, and to engage in open, appropriate and effective interactions with others from different backgrounds on the basis of a shared respect for human dignity.
- Knowledge and understanding of global issues
- Intercultural knowledge and understanding
- Analytical and critical thinking
- Ability to interact respectfully, appropriately and effectively
- Openness towards people from other cultures
- Respect for cultural otherness
- Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, framing significant problems and conducting well-crafted and age-appropriate research.
- Recognize perspectives, others’ and their own, articulating and explaining such perspectives thoughtfully and respectfully.
- Communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences, bridging geographic, linguistic, ideological, and cultural barriers.
- Take action to improve conditions, viewing themselves as players in the world and participating reflectively.
This engagement model aligns with these Common Core Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.6: Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.8: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.