LA 5.5: Life on the Edge

Surviving in Difficult Circumstances


Learning Outcome Pedagogical Intent Student Position

Provide support and advocacy. 

 Employ strategies to empower parents/families to participate in their child’s education.

Assessment: 25 pts.

TA: 30 Minutes

Teachers can provide environments of safety to these students to enable them to feel safe as they learn in school.

Students have learned about children in trauma.  They have read about poverty, trauma, and homelessness.  They will now discuss the game played throughout this session to be able to identify with students living in these conditions.


    1.  Take your last turn in the ‘Life on the Edge’ game.    

    2. As a group, discuss how each of you survived your time in the game.  Discuss these questions:  

    3. Participate in a class discussion about advocacy and what allows people to move from silence to advocacy.    

    4. The facilitator will give you 10 minutes to sign up for your group to complete the final major project for this course, the Advocacy Position Paper and Presentation. 

    5. You will find sample topics for which you can advocate located below these instructions, or you may select your own.  Meet as a group to exchange contact information and to begin thinking about a topic.

    Possible Topics for Advocacy Position Paper

    Possible Topics for Advocacy Position Paper 

    1. Equity with respect to helping students achieve high Common Core standards. 

    2. Strong relationship-building skills and attention to social-emotional needs of students. 

    3. Cultural knowledge and ability to incorporate background, culture, language, and funds of knowledge into instruction. 

    4. Specific pedagogical skills—formative assessment, room set up for greater participation, scaffolding instruction for levels of proficiency. 

    5. Understanding of laws and policies from the government related to teaching diverse populations. (Title 1, Office of Civil Rights, ESSA, FERPA, etc.) 

    6. Cultural knowledge that enables teachers to support parents and families in assisting students to learn. 

    7. Second language acquisition and its application in classrooms with ELs. 

    8. Assessment practices teachers should use in their work with English learners, both formative and summative. 

    9. Building resiliency in students who have trauma due to one or numerous reasons. 

    10. Becoming a watchdog in your school to be sure programs and practices are available to all students, not just those who are privileged or advantaged. 

    There are many more topics, but these might get you started. 


    This content is provided to you freely by Equity Press.

    Access it online or download it at