3. Case studies: Patterns of poverty in urban and rural areas
Before beginning, students should familiarize themselves with generating basic maps in Social Explorer (map basics instructions) and saving them as Power Point files (Power Point instructions). Students may also use the video tutorials.
Demonstration: Instructor reviews the slide show “Poverty: Eight Case Studies.” These slides describe how the concentration of poverty differs across eight distinct geographic areas.
Student activity: In pairs at computers, students access the Case Studies slide show. Using one region and one urban area of their choice from the slide show, students use Social Explorer to investigate how race, family structure and age correspond to poverty levels. Students then exchange partners, and compare two case studies, identifying similarities and differences.
Class discussion: Groups report the results of their investigations and comparisons. The goal of this discussion should be to confront students’ assumptions regarding poverty, emphasizing specific examples from the data.
Assignment: Students are to write a first draft of a 500-750 word paper (with accompanying Social Explorer slides) that describes the differences and similarities across these areas (race, family structure, and age). This response paper should also explain the likely reasons behind these patterns, drawing from the assigned readings. This paper will be revised at the end of the module (Lesson 4).
Assessment suggestion: Have students use this Final Paper Rubric to self-assess their first drafts of their paper.