Global Education

Teacher resources to encourage a global
perspective across the curriculum

Poverty and urbanisation

Year level: 7-8

Country: India, Philippines

Case studies: Urban sanitation in India

With high birth rates and rural exodus, cities are rapidly expanding with over half the world’s people now living there. Students explore the patterns of urbanisation throughout the world and analyse issues that impact on children’s lives in urban settings.

Slum housing is built along the polluted river, while modern housing is further away in Mumbai, India.

Slum housing is built along the polluted river, while modern housing is further away in Mumbai, India. Photo by Dirk Guinan for AusAID


Interdependence and globalisation, Social justice and human rights, Sustainable futures

Australian Curriculum links

Learning area

Geography

Year 7

The factors that influence the decisions people make about where to live and their perceptions of the liveability of places (ACHGK043)

The influence of accessibility to services and facilities on the liveability of places (ACHGK044) 

The influence of environmental quality on the liveability of places (ACHGK045)

Year 8

The causes and consequences of urbanisation, drawing on a study from Indonesia, or another country of the Asia region (ACHGK054)

Develop geographically significant questions and plan an inquiry using appropriate geographical methodologies and concepts (ACHGS055)

English

Year 7

Identify and explore ideas and viewpoints about events, issues and characters represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1619)

Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)

Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)

Year 8

Interpret the stated and implied meanings in spoken texts, and use evidence to support or challenge different perspectives (ACELY1730)

Use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the text for the author’s point of view (ACELY1734) 

General capabilities

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) capability
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy

Cross-curriculum priorities 

  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability 

Activity 1: Rags and riches

Students explore the meaning of poverty and wealth. They analyse data about poverty and wealth and how this affects where people live.

Brainstorm answers to the following questions:

  • What do the terms 'poverty' and 'wealth' mean to you?
  • Which groups of people and countries do you think are poor and rich?
  • Why are some people poor and others rich?
  • Why are some countries poor and others rich?
  • Why is there wealth and poverty within all countries?
  • Would poor people be more likely to live in rural areas or cities?

View UNICEF’s The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World.

Draw a concept map or write a brief paragraph to show how the following can contribute to poverty and the cycle of poverty:

  • poor quality land 
  • inadequate diet and poor health 
  • limited or no education 
  • limited or no job training 
  • lack of safe water and adequate sanitation.

View the following videos to expand your view of poverty:

List some of the factors that help to break the poverty cycle and explain how they can improve the lives of those who are poor.

Design a word cloud that illustrates your ideas about poverty using Wordle or a similar product.

Display your designs and share your ideas.

Write a collaborative definition for poverty using the information you have gathered.

Read the Poverty Global issue and view the related images.

Search for images of rural poverty, and list some key characteristics. View and/or read some of the stories Voices of the poor.

Discuss whether the ideas you created in your word cloud are reflected in the comments about poverty.

Imagine you are a member of a poor rural family who is struggling to earn an income from your drought-stricken land.

List the factors that would push you away from the country and pull you towards a city.

Discuss whether the ideas you created in your world cloud are reflected in the comments about reducing poverty.

Activity 2: Urbanisation – living the dream?

Some cities grow faster than the development of housing and services. Informal settlements or slums can appear and there is a strain on the environment and natural resources. Students clarify their understanding of why rapid urbanisation doesn’t necessarily reduce poverty.

Use a spreadsheet to make a prediction of the order of least to most urbanised in the following countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Bhutan, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)-China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Use data from the World Bank to add the actual data for the percentage of the population living in urban areas in 2007 and 2012 in each of these countries.

Create comparative line graphs.

Answer the following questions:

  • Which country had the largest percentage of its population living in urban areas in 2010?
  • Which country had the smallest percentage of its population living in urban areas in 2010?
  • Which country showed the most growth in urban population over the three years?
  • Which showed the least growth in urban population over the three years?
  • What are some characteristics of these cities that would attract people to move to them?
  • How do you explain that 100% of the population live in urban areas in Hong Kong SAR-China?

Look at UNICEF’s urban world map. Explore the projected figures through to 2050.

List the countries that are predicted to show explosive urban growth over the period 2010 to 2050.

Discuss and show in a mind map the impact that this degree of urban growth might have on the urban population of those countries. Will it be similar for all countries? If not, explain why.

Use the statistical tools on the UNICEF The State of the World's Children report to expand the data you have on the eight focus countries.

Create graphs comparing the countries, using the following indicators. 

CountryPopulationGNI* per capita (US$)Level of urbanisationDensityPercentage of population using improved drinking water Percentage of population using adequate sanitation facilities
     RuralUrbanRuralUrban
Afghanistan        
Australia        
Bhutan        
Hong-Kong SAR-China        
India        
Indonesia        
Philippines        

*Gross National Income

Discuss

  • Is there a correlation between the wealth of a country and urbanisation?
  • Is there a correlation between the wealth of a country and access to improved drinking water and sanitation?
  • In which country is the difference between rural and urban water and sanitation services the greatest?
  • What factors might be pushing rural people to move to the cities?
  • What factors might be pulling rural people to move to the cities?

Extension:

Imagine you are an urban planner.

Write some guidelines for limiting the expansion of your city. Consider social issues, environmental sustainability and economic feasibility.

Create a virtual city using an application such as Cacoo. You will need to sign up for a free account.

Present your design for the class and explain your planning guidelines.

Activity 3: Urban footprints

Students compare and contrast living conditions in a familiar urban location with those in other countries.

Create a drawing, web map or collage describing an urban location you are familiar with. Include ideas about housing, food, transport, water, energy use (electricity, heating, cooking etc), communications, waste disposal, recreation, healthcare, schools, industry and government.

Label arrows to show where the services come from (if possible, indicate the distance and mode of transport used).

Read the box ‘Slums: The five deprivations’ on page 3 of the executive summary of the report The State of the World’s Children 2012 and the Case study Urban Sanitation in Bangalore.

Create a drawing, web map or collage for one of the slum areas. Include ideas about housing, food, transport, water, energy use (electricity, heating, cooking etc), communications, waste disposal, recreation, healthcare, schools, industry and government. 

Use a Venn diagram and compare and contrast life in your urban location with life in the slum.

Discuss as a group whether there are any similarities between the two locations and the reasons why this might be so.

Activity 4: Living within your means

Students compare and contrast living on the Newstart Allowance in Australia and what young people live on in the slum areas of Bangalore. They analyse strategies to increase the earning capacity of families in urban slums to break the poverty cycle.

Imagine you have $36 a day (the Australian Government’s Newstart Allowance) to live on.

List the things you would need to spend money on to provide for all your needs.

Calculate what you would spend on rent (20%), power (5%) and travel (5%). Work out your budget for your other needs for a day and multiply this by seven to find out your budget for the week.

Visit a local or online supermarket and list the food purchases you would make for a week.

  • List the quantities and the prices of these items.
  • Compare this to the budget you calculated (seven times your daily budget).
  • If you will need to spend more than your budget, how will you manage your finances for the week? (eg make different selections, go into debt ...)

Discuss

  • How difficult was it to choose products, based on the restricted budget?
  • Were you able to purchase what you wanted?
  • Do you think the quantity of goods you purchased would be sufficient to live on?
  • How did your choices compare with other students?
  • What would you do if you had an unplanned expense such as increased rent, loss of income, a large medical bill, or had to buy new clothes to attend a job interview?

Make a generalisation about living on a limited income.

Write a reflection about how it might be to live in a developing country on $2 per day and where the government might provide fewer services than in Australia.

Create a montage of images using Web 2.0 tools to prove or disprove the following statement: 'All young people in Australia are better off than those living in a developing country'. Present your montage and explain your choice of images and how they support your response to the statement.

Find the Philippines on a map of Asia and locate Manila.

Conduct some research and write a report describing life in the capital, Manila, today. You will need to include the size of the population and the experience of city life for those with money and for those who are poor.

Watch the AusAID video clip, Changing lives – Mark Daniels in Manila.

Identify the strategies Mark uses in his AusAID project to improve the daily lives of families living in the slums of Manila.

Draw a diagram showing how these strategies can break the poverty cycle for families living in urban slums.

Extension

Watch the Indonesian film, My Sky My Home and compare the lives of the two young boys: rich and educated Andri, and Gempol who has a loving family. (Five loan copies are available from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Email: collections@acmi.net.au.)

Discuss what the film tells us about life in Indonesian cities. Describe some of the street scenes depicted in the film and how they support the notion that in Jakarta there are 'the haves and have-nots'.

Define 'symbolism'. How has it been used to describe the differences between Andri and Gempol’s lives? For example, images of a stormy sky, a newspaper and its various uses.

How has the film increased your knowledge about Indonesia and why do you think that Australia provides aid to the country.

Activity 5: The state of children in urban areas

Students view videos that highlight crucial issues impacting children in urban areas and identify a number of actions being taken to address violence and homelessness.

Divide into eight groups and look at the series of videos 2 Lives: two miles apart. Make sure every video is viewed.

Create a storyboard for the video you viewed. You may wish to use Webspiration.

Form new groups with one member from each of the original eight groups.

Present each storyboard and explain the issue that impacted on the children in the video. As each person presents, take note of the key points they have raised.

Write a report titled 'Issues Impacting on Children in an Urbanised World' using the notes you have taken during the presentations. Conclude your report by providing a number of recommendations to solve some of these issues.

Share your recommendations and create a collaborative list.

Discuss how action could occur to support some of these recommendations as:

  • an individual
  • a community
  • an organisation or company
  • a government.

Contributors' notes

ryan said:

20 June 2014

i think youve given a lot more leway in the living on newstart rent amount then actualy exists unless your living with family the cheapest rooms will cost 120$ a week and most 160$ or more which is significantly above 20% it works out to 50% or more for most ppl on newstart here in northern rivers your looking at about 130-140$ for a room in a badly maintained share house and about 160-180$ for a unit with rent assistance of about 60$

ryan said:

20 June 2014

i think youve given a lot more leway in the living on newstart rent amount then actualy exists unless your living with family the cheapest rooms will cost 120$ a week and most 160$ or more which is significantly above 20% it works out to 50% or more for most ppl on newstart here in northern rivers your looking at about 130-140$ for a room in a badly maintained share house and about 160-180$ for a unit with rent assistance of about 60$

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Slum housing is built along the polluted river, while modern housing is further away in Mumbai, India.
Photo by Dirk Guinan for AusAID
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Slum housing is built along the polluted river, while modern housing is further away in Mumbai, India. Photo by Dirk Guinan for AusAID