Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan: Structuring Debate around the World Bank's Funding of Large Companies

Illustration courtesy of Mother Jones.


Students will be able to analyze and evaluate how a report on World Bank funding has been structured to achieve the goals of its authors


Question 1: If you had money to fund an institution in order to support the economy of a city, what would you invest your money in and why?

Consider the following:

  1. How would you define a large company?
  2. What are the benefits of having a large company come to your town? What are the dangers?
  3. What does a country need to develop its economy?

Question 2: How do you feel about public funding being used to support large for-profit institutions? Is it ethical for the city say it is investing in a project to support the poor, but also be earning money from that project?

Introducing the Lesson:

Today’s lesson will explore how journalists Claire Provost and Matt Kennard structure an article to unfold their analysis and opinion of the questions above. The article being explored is "Humanitarian Raid," which investigates extensive spending by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a branch of the World Bank, which supports some of the world’s largest companies.  

1. Read the following mission statement from the World Bank’s website: “The World Bank has two ambitious goals: End extreme poverty within a generation and boost shared prosperity.”

  • How do you think the World Bank should be doing this? What role could large companies play? Jot down your answers and be prepared to share.

2. Look at the picture on page 2 and predict what the article will be about. What do you think will be the author’s purpose based on looking at the picture? What might be the author’s opinion? How do you know?

Introducing the Resource: “Humanitarian Raid”

Read the article and answer the accompanying questions.

As you read, consider the following:

  1. What do you think is the authors’ purpose for writing the article?
  2. What evidence do you see within the article that suggests the authors’ purpose?


Discuss with a partner, or as a class, the content and structure of the article. Consider the following:

  1. What do you think was the purpose of the article?
  2. How did the authors structure the piece to support their aim?
  3. What did you think were the most compelling examples supporting the authors’ claims?
  4. What are you still questioning after reading the article? Who else would you have liked to interview?


Final Task: Use the evidence from the article to compose a letter to the World Bank that outlines your views on the IFC’s support of large companies. Do you agree with the authors or disagree? Use examples from the text to support your claim.

Educator Notes: 

As part of the following lesson, students consider the role that the World Bank should be playing in international aid by analyzing the investigating reporting piece "Humanitarian Raid." Additionally, students evaluate the authors' purposes for writing the piece by analyzing the structure of the reporting.


Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.

Note: In addition to independent investigation of the attached resources, this lesson includes warm up and reflection exercises that are designed to be facilitated in small groups or by the instructor. However, the student instructions for this lesson can be adapted if students will be exploring these resources independently.

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