UbD and PLC Template for A Summary of Teaching with Poverty in Mind
UbD Template for A Summary of Teaching with Poverty in Mind
Stage 1 – Desired Results
• What relevant goals (e.g. content standards, course or program objective, learning outcomes) will this design address?
o Develop an understanding of how poverty impacts the brain;
o Develop empathy;
o Learn and utilize brain-friendly methods to reverse the devastating effects of poverty on the brain.
Understanding(s): Essential Question(s):
• What are the big ideas? • What provocative questions will foster inquiry,
understanding, and transfer of learning?
o Chronic exposure to poverty causes the brain to physically
change in a detrimental manner.
o The assumption that students from poverty won't succeed
at school because of their home lives is NOT supported by
o Behavior geneticists commonly claim that DNA accounts
for 30-50% of our behaviors…an estimate that leaves 50-
70% explained by environment, which can be impacted by
o Adults who build trusting, supportive relationships with
low-SES students help foster those students’
independence and self-esteem and protect them from the
deleterious effects of poverty. Principals, teachers,
counselors, and coaches must provide the much-needed
outstretched hand that will help children lift themselves
out of the poverty cycle.
o Hope changes brain chemistry.
o How does poverty affect the brain?
o What can I do to reverse the effects of poverty on the
o What strategies do I need to implement in my classroom
to reach students of poverty?
• What specific understandings about them are desired?
o Low SES children also have fewer cognitive-enrichment
opportunities; the gaps can be taught with specific, brain-
o Understand that children raised in poverty are more likely
to display 1) acting out behaviors, 2) impatience and
impulsivity, 3) gaps in politeness and social graces, 4) a
more limited range of behavioral responses, 5)
inappropriate emotional responses, and 6) less empathy
for others’ misfortunes
• Understand the 5 steps in delivering 2 positive choices.
• Understand the 5 steps to prevent a power struggle.
• Hope changes brain chemistry. Hope and learned optimism
are crucial factors in turning low-SES students into high
achievers; and hopefulness can be taught.
• What misunderstandings are predictable?
o Teachers don’t need to come from their students’ cultures
to be able to teach them, but empathy and cultural
knowledge are essential.
o Only the emotions of anger, fear, disgust, surprise, joy,
and sadness are hardwired. All others including humility,
forgiveness, empathy, optimism, compassion, sympathy,
patience, cooperation, and gratitude must be taught.
o Learned helplessness is not a genetic phenomenon but an
adaptive response to life conditions. Because of persistent
feelings of inadequacy, individuals will remain passive
even when they actually have the power to change their
Students will know: Students will be able to:
• What key knowledge and skills will students acquire as a result of this unit?
o Understanding of the detrimental effects of poverty on the brain
o Vocabulary strategies
o 5 steps in delivering 2 positive choices
o 5 steps to prevent a power struggle
o Methods of teaching hopefulness and learned optimism
o Strategies for teaching behavior expectations
o Methods of reinforcement of effort
o Develop strategies for building core skills
o Understand the importance of relationship building and methods of doing so
o Engaging teaching strategies interwoven throughout the presentation
• What should they eventually be able to do as a result of such knowledge and skill?
o Implement daily vocabulary strategies
o Offer 2 positive choice
o Prevent power struggles
o Teach hopefulness and learned optimism
o Implement the teaching of behavioral expectations in the school and/or the classroom
o Use reinforcement strategies for effort
o Build students’ core skills
o Build relationships with students and colleagues
Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
Performance Task(s): Other Evidence:
• Through what authentic performance tasks will students
demonstrate the desired understandings?
• Through what other evidence (e.g. quizzes, tests, academic
prompts, observations, homework, journals) will students
demonstrate achievement of the desired results?
o Identify students from poverty and/or struggling students
within the classroom and/or school
o Simulate offering 2 positive choices
o Simulate avoiding a power struggle
o Identify teachers who model relationship building
• By what criteria will performances of understanding be
• How will students reflect upon or self-assess their learning?
o Observation and feedback o Self-reflection responses in periodic checkpoints from
trainer and principal/assistant principal
Stage 3 – Learning Plan
W: Help the students know WHERE the unit is going and what is expected…Help the teacher know WHERE the students are coming
from (prior knowledge, interests)
o Poll Everywhere quiz
H: HOOK all students and hold their interest
o Video, music, song, engaging activities
E: EQUIP students, help them experience the key ideas, and explore the issues
o Tell stories that connect to prior knowledge (Stories stick. Facts fade.)
R: Provide opportunities to RETHINK and REVISE their understandings and work
o Practice strategies with performance tasks embedded in presentation.
E: Allow students to EVALUATE their work and its implications
o Reflect on 1 thing that surprised, 1 thing that stuck, and 1 thing that still feels overwhelming.
T: Be TAILORED (personalized) to the different needs, interests, abilities of learners
o Change teaching strategies about every 5-10 minutes and vary
O: Be ORGANIZED to maximize initial and sustained engagement as well as effective learning
o Model strategies from Eric Jensen’s book, Tools for Engagement; John Media’s book, Brain Rules; and Garr Reynolds’s book,
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) That Work
4 Essential Questions
• What do we want students to know?
• How will we know when they know it?
• What will we do when they don’t learn it?
• What will we do when they do learn it?