Opportunity and Social Mobility

Unit Lessons

PYP Theme: Sharing the Planet

BiblioGarden PYP Librarian Beanstalk LogoOpportunity and Social Mobility: Unit Overview

Using period photographs, this lesson exposes children to some of the images from the era of school segregation and the path to integration in the United States.  The students observe and think about what happened when children were not given equal opportunities for education.  Next, the unit looks at access to information.  How does the arrival of the Internet, or a community library, change the lives of citizens?  Finally, work with your students on statistics that highlight access to food, energy, clean air, and clean water.  How many people in the world actually have these things?  What do their lives and homes look like?  Read for information, gather statistics, and see how opportunity affects social mobility.  The sensitive content will be new for most elementary students, making this a great opportunity for supporting the students with these fully integrated lessons.


Opportunity and Social Mobility #1: Remember, by Toni Morrison

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students are confronted with evidence of vast inequalities between black and white people in the United States during the time leading up to the Civil Rights Era, which began in the 1960s.  Using period photographs, Toni Morrison pens words that might have been in the… Read more

Betty Turpin

Opportunity and Social Mobility #2: Information Wants to be Free

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students explore the concept of equal access to information.  The key concept is causation: Why do some people have access to more and better information than others?  What difference does access to information have in the lives of people today?  If you have access to… Read more

Betty Turpin

Opportunity and Social Mobility #3: If the World Were a Village, by David J. Smith

Lesson Overview: Using David J. Smith’s acclaimed If The World Were a Village, students will extract statistics and then use them to create graphs and charts.  The graphs and charts will help the students better understand inequalities in our world in terms of access to food, clean air, clean water,… Read more

Betty Turpin

Opportunity and Social Mobility #4: A Virtual Field to Dollar Street from Gapminder

Lesson Overview: Using the brilliant work of Anna Rosling Rönnlund at Gapminder, take your students on a virtual field trip.  Let them visit homes around the world arranged on an income scale.  From left to right, homes on Dollar Street go from poor to rich.  The students will be able… Read more

Betty Turpin