November 2013 Issue
October 25, 2013

Freebies: Spotlight on Poverty

Source: NYSUT United

Muhammad Yunus portraitSpotlight on poverty

Created by the American Federation of Teachers and TES Connect, Share My Lesson offers an online network filled with education resources and lesson plans written for teachers, by teachers.

This month, NYSUT United spotlights a lesson about poverty — part of a series of social justice lesson plans developed by NYSUT in conjunction with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. The lesson plan highlights the work of human rights defender Muhammad Yunus.

Combating poverty through investments

Lesson grade level: 6-8

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe "poverty" and its long-reaching effects;
  • identify factors contributing to the cycle of poverty;
  • understand banks' traditional "3C's" approach — credit reputation, capacity and collateral — to lending money;
  • explain Muhammad Yunus' approach to lending, or microcredit, which extends very small loan amounts to impoverished borrowers; and
  • analyze the benefits of microcredit as well as the challenges it faces.

The lesson features three small-group activities and accompanying resource materials and includes a vocabulary list and homework assignment. It meets New York state learning standards in social studies and English language arts as well as several Common Core Learning Standards.

For the full lesson, visit

A trio of science magazines

Children's science magazine publisher Cobblestone & Cricket and the National Science Teachers Association offer a free, digital trial subscription for elementary science teachers. Titles include Click (grades K-2 nature and science), Ask (grades 3-5 science), Odyssey (grades 5-9 cutting-edge science), and Muse (grades 5-9 science and critical thinking). Register by Nov. 15 (enter code USF59) at

One place for special needs

Started by a mom of two children with special needs, One Place for Special Needs is an online information network and social community. The site offers resources, articles and other information helpful to parents, teachers and School-Related Professionals. Topics include a complete guide to special needs toilet training, a listing of apps for students with special needs and much more. Visit

Take a veteran to school

The History Channel offers several free resources, including study guides, lesson plans and daily "this day in history" updates. For Veterans Day, the network also offers Take a Veteran to School Day wristbands. Quantities are limited to 30 per school. For more information, visit

The "Freebies" column offers free opportunities for educators and their students. We do not screen for subtle or not-so-subtle plugs.