This lesson has students distinguish between charity (volunteering in a soup kitchen) and justice (working to end the inequalities that make soup kitchens necessary). It asks students to think about root causes (inequality) versus symptoms (poverty that leads to the need for soup kitchens).
The lesson focuses on issues of immigration and on the problems and difficulties faced by immigrants as they wrestle with the dilemma of leaving their country due to economic conditions and other hardships. The lesson lets students experience how immigrants examine their current situation and deal with making the decision to immigrate to the United States.
The holiday season often marks the launch of toy and canned food drives in schools. Use this activity to deepen students understanding of those being served and the dynamics of poverty in the United States.