Poverty Lesson Plan: School

Time: 50-70 minutes, depending on activity chosen
Ages: 4-11, depending on activity chosen

Lesson overview and preparation

Prepare for the lesson and gather supplies

The problem: Being poor keeps many kids from going to school. All kids deserve to go to school so they can have knowledge and good jobs someday.
My sponsored child: Our family helps make sure our sponsored child gets to go to school.
What God says: Part of God’s special plan for all children is for them to go to school so they can have healthy, happy futures.

The Problem My Sponsored Child Activity (ages 4-7) Activity (ages 8-11) What God Says
Poverty focus: Being poor keeps many kids from going to school. All kids deserve to go to school so they can learn and get good jobs someday. Sponsored child connection: Our family helps make sure our sponsored child gets to go to school. “Catch the Bus” Breakfast Tacos recipe

Activity time: 35 minutes
Chasing the Dream quiz

Activity time: 15 minutes
Bible focus: Part of God’s special plan for all children is for them to go to school so they can have healthy, happy futures.

Memory verse: Psalm 119:66
Supplies: none Supplies: none Supplies: See the "Catch the Bus" Breakfast Tacos recipe. Supplies: See the Chasing the Dream printable. Supplies: Bible
Prep: Open Powerful Prayers in your internet browser. Prep: Open Ready to Learn in your internet browser. Prep: Open the "Catch the Bus" Breakfast Tacos recipe in your internet browser. Gather the ingredients. Prep: Print out the Chasing the Dream printable. Prep: none

The Problem

Discussion and application, 15 minutes

You say: Did you know that some kids in poor countries can’t go to school? Can you name some reasons why school is important? [Wait for answers.] School makes you smarter, and all kids deserve to feel smart and gain knowledge.

But many parents are poor because they didn’t get the schooling needed to get a good job. Some have trouble finding any job at all, while others have to work jobs that hardly pay. So if their children can’t go to school either, they are likely to grow up and be just as poor.

Some parents are so poor that they can’t afford fees that schools charge to send their kids to school. They can’t afford their kids’ school supplies or uniforms either. Another thing that keeps kids out of school is child labor. Since many families are so poor that they can’t afford food or medicine, some kids work jobs to earn money that will help keep their families alive.

Application: Children who are poor feel thankful when they can go to school. Let’s read some prayers about school from sponsored kids like [sponsored child’s name]. Then we’ll ask God to help them. [Read the Powerful Prayers to your child.]

You say: Now let’s pray for those children. Dear LORD, thank you for sending Serti a sponsor who helped her go to school. Please help Miguel get a bicycle so he doesn’t have to walk so far in the sun. Give Bryan the teachers and supplies he needs to finish school and get a good job as a grown-up. I thank you that Andreyana and Wilmena get to learn all about You at their Compassion centers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

My Sponsored Child

Discussion and application, 15 minutes

Before you begin: Open the Ready to Learn photo essay in your internet browser.

Application: Think about all the things you do to get ready for school in the morning. Let’s see how kids in other parts of the world get ready. [Let child look at the photos while you read the captions out loud.]

Afterward, you say: Did you know that some children would not be able to go to school if they didn’t have sponsors? I wonder what [sponsored child’s name’s] does to get ready for school. Let’s learn more about why kids in [his/her] region don’t always get the education they need.

If your sponsored child lives in Africa, you say: Do you remember our lesson about water problems? You learned how some kids have to walk for hours every day just to get the water they need. That means they don’t have time to go to school. In African villages, this keeps many children from learning as much as they deserve to learn in school.

If your sponsored child lives in Asia, you say: Many families, especially those who live in the poorest southern part of Asia, don’t have enough money to send their kids to school. But even when they do, schools sometimes don’t teach kids enough skills and knowledge. That’s because a lot of teachers there don’t know much more than the kids because they didn’t get much schooling either. If your teachers don’t know much, how can they teach you?

If your sponsored child lives in Central America or the Caribbean, you say: For kids in Central America and the Caribbean who don’t get enough food, doing well in school is much harder than for kids who have full bellies. Kids who don’t get enough nutritious food have a harder time learning. It’s harder to pay attention when you’re hungry. And if you aren’t getting enough nutrients, your brain doesn’t grow as well as it should.

If your sponsored child lives in South America, you say: Some kids in South American countries live too far away from schools to get there. For kids who live in bigger cities, that’s usually not the biggest problem. But for millions of kids living in small villages, the nearest school might be so far away it would take hours to walk there. Because the poorest families can’t afford cars or money for taxis, they can’t drive their kids to school either.

 

Afterward, you say: Hunger, water problems, bad schools and distance keep too many poor children from getting a good education. Some sponsored kids wouldn’t be able to go to school without the help of a sponsor. Aren’t you happy that God led our family to help [sponsored child’s name] go to school? That’s because sponsors help pay for school costs. And all sponsored children go to Compassion centers where they have teachers who give them extra help.

Write On!

Next time your family writes a letter to your sponsored child, your children can tell about their favorite parts about school. Encourage your sponsored child to stay in school and work hard.

Activity

15-35 minutes

You say: It’s time to do a fun activity to teach us more about school around the world!

Ages 4-7: “Catch the Bus” Breakfast Tacos (35 minutes)

Before you begin: Open the “Catch the Bus” Breakfast Tacos recipe in your internet browser. Collect all the ingredients.

You say: Kids who don’t get enough food to eat have trouble paying attention in school. Breakfast is especially important for brain power! Many children in Latin America eat meals made with tortillas, and you can too when you help me make breakfast tacos!

Ages 8-11: Chasing the Dream quiz (15 minutes)

Before you begin: Print out the Chasing the Dream quiz. Fold the sheet in half so the “Results” section is hidden. Give a pencil to your child.

You say: Now you’ll take a fun quiz to figure out what kind of job would fit you best based on your personality. [If you have more than one child, each child might find it fun to quiz the other one and then read the results out loud. Otherwise you can let your child quietly take the quiz alone.]

Afterward you say: Let’s talk about your results. Do you agree that you’d be a good fit in those types of jobs? Why or why not?

What God Says

Memory verse and prayer, 5-7 minutes

You say: We’ve been talking about how important teachers and school are to children everywhere. By saying the following Bible verse, we ask God to be our teacher. No one is a better teacher than Him!

Repeat the verse from the book of Psalm after me:

Shortened memory verse for ages 4-7: “Teach me knowledge and good judgment,” Psalm 119:66. [Wait for child to repeat, then say it again and have child repeat it again.]

Teach me what and good judgment? [Wait for child to answer “knowledge.”] Good. Now repeat the whole verse after me. [Repeat the verse and wait for child to repeat it again.]

Memory verse for ages 8-11: “Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands,” Psalm 119:66. [Wait for child to repeat, then say it again and ask child to repeat it again.]

Teach me what and good judgment? [Wait for child to answer “knowledge.”] For I trust what? [Wait for answer of “your commands.”] Good. Now repeat the whole verse after me. [Repeat the verse and wait for child to repeat it again.]

Afterward, you say: Will you pray with me for [sponsored child’s name] and other children living in poverty? [If your children are used to leading prayers out loud, they might want to say their own prayer. Otherwise read the following prayer out loud.]

Dear God, You are the best teacher of all, and I know I can count on you to help me make smart choices every day. I’m thankful that I have the chance to go to school and learn from teachers there. Please help me keep changing the world with the Bible as my guide so that every child is someday able to go to school just like I do. I pray that You will help [sponsored child’s name] earn good grades and get a good job as an adult. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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