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Virtual Economics

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Lesson 8 - Productivity
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Working in small groups, the students participate in a production simulation to determine the effects of specialization on labor productivity, the division of labor, and investment in human capital and capital goods.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investment in capital goods, Investment in human capital, Productivity, Specialization and division of labor

Lesson 9: The Distribution of Income and Investments in Human Capital
Focus: Institutions and Markets
This lesson introduces students to some key facts about the distribution of income in the United States, and provides some information and tools for analyzing changes in the distribution of income over the last three decades. Students' intuition about who earns more or less, and why, is the basis for several activities; but in some cases their intuition will likely be challenged.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investment in human capital, Factor income, Functional distribution of income, Personal distribution of income,

Section 2: Financial Institutions
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants identify the advantages and disadvantages of using financial services from alternative financial institutions and services from mainstream banks. Participants identify the services provided by mainstream financial institutions including banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, and so forth. Participants identify insurance (including homeowner's, renter's, health, and auto insurance) ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic wants, Goods, Services, Entrepreneurs, Productive resources (natural capital and human resources), Work skills (human capital), Income

Theme 1: Lesson 1 - Earning Income
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, students play a guessing game to identify various occupations. Then they consider some of the education, skills, and talents required for those occupations. They analyze the connection between human capital and wages.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Income, Human resources, Human capital, Wage, Investment in human capital, Goods and services,

Unit 2: Lesson 10 - School Is an Investment in Human Capital
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 2-4 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students will recognize that development of human capital increases the quantity and quality of alternatives available to them now and in the future. They will also take responsibility for their education.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Human capital, Investment in human capital, Knowledge, Skills,

Unit 3: Lesson 15 - Why Do Some People Earn More Than Others?
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine and discuss visuals to identify an economic mystery regarding differences in income. They use the Guide to Economic Reasoning to analyze the problem and reach a tentative solution.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Economic system, Future consequences, Human capital, Incentives, Opportunity cost, Voluntary trade

Unit 2: Lesson 9 - I Am a Bundle of Human Capital
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 2-4 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students will recognize that they have many skills.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Alternative, Human capital, Knowledge, Skill,

Lesson 9: Learn More, Earn More
Focus: High School Economics
Human capital refers to the knowledge, skills, and experience that people bring to the workplace. With education and training, people increase their human capital and improve their productivity, which usually allows them to increase their income.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Human capital, Income, Standard of living,

Theme 2: Lesson 4 - Job Application Process
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
Getting a job is fundamental to achieving economic success. Most people begin their work lives working for others. While obtaining a job can be a challenge, there are widely accepted practices in business and government that make the process less difficult. This lesson provides an overview of steps for finding job openings, writing a letter of application, preparing a resume, completing an appl...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Labor, Labor market

Unit 3: Lesson 13 - My Human Capital: A Job Application
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Following a study of two realistic dilemmas, students complete a resume and assess their own qualifications for actual jobs.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Benefit, Cost, Disincentive, Human capital, Incentive,

Lesson 13: The Working World
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 3-4
Human capital consists of the skills, knowledge, and other factors, such as health, that improve an individual's ability to produce goods and services. One reason people earn different incomes for different jobs is that they differ in the quantity and quality of their human capital.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Work, Employment, Human capital, Unemployment,

Unit 1: Lesson 3 - People Use Their Human Capital
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work- Grades 7-8 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students take inventory of their own human capital and learn the necessity for acquiring skills and knowledge.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Economic value, Human capital, Knowledge, Skills, Worker,

Unit 3: Lesson 19 - Earning an Income
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine the concept of income. They identify factors that generate in come, including entrepreneurial traits and changing conditions in labor markets. In learning how income is generated, students plan and make choices to enhance their own income-generating capacity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital, Entrepreneurship, Human capital, Income, Labor, Land, Profit

Lesson 9 - Deserted Island
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 6-8
This lesson is designed to introduce students to the idea that not all skills are valued equally in the marketplace. The students will explore these differences using their mathematics skills to create box and whisker plots. They will generate their own data on the value of skills by using a bidding activity. The students are given a budget and instructed to purchase the skills needed to survive o...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Budget, Labor market, Labor

Lesson 4: Why Do People Go to School?
Learning, Earning and Investing: Grades 4-5 Lessons
The students look at a simple chart relating education level with average annual income. From the data the students generalize that people with more education usually earn more income. They learn that human capital refers to the knowledge, skills, talent, health, values and experience that people bring to the workplace. Working in small groups, the students receive information about the budgets of...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Budget, Expenses, Fixed expenses, Human capital, Income, Variable expenses

Lesson 11 - Where Did the African-American Middle Class Come From?
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a class discussion of segregation and racism. In small groups, the students examine statistical data and formulate explanations regarding the development of an African-American middle class.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investment in human capital

Unit 1: Lesson 3 - What Results When People Improve Their Human Capital?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students read 1998 U.S. labor-market data, compare education and income levels, then graph and analyze the data.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Entrepreneurs, Human capital, Income, Natural resources, Physical capital, Producer,

Unit 3: Lesson 9 - What Results When People Use Improved Physical Capital Resources?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students learn that using technologies increase production during a business simulation.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Entrepreneurship, Human capital, Industrial Revolution, Invention, Physical capital, Production, Technology

Unit 2: Lesson 5 - How Can I Improve My Ability to Produce What People Want?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students read about the life and career decisions of Philip Simmons, a blacksmith and artist from Charleston, South Carolina. They analyze the skills and knowledge Mr. Simmons used to make different products throughout his career.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Blacksmith, Consumer, Demand, Goods and services, Human capital, Incentives, Income, Producer, Productive resources, Wrought iron,

Unit 4: Lesson 11 - Can I Learn to Work with Others to Produce?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In a large group, students attempt to accomplish a task that requires working interdependently with others. They identify the human capital they used to produce a service. Then they identify the human capital they used as the speed and complexity of production increase and become more difficult.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Human capital, Interdependence, Produce, Service,

ONLINE LESSONS:

online Why does Eli Manning Make $24 million per year?
What determines a person's salary? Why do professional athletes make so much money? People who work as firefighters, police officers or teachers are clearly more important to our society, yet they make much less money than jocks. What explains this?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Division of Labor,Human Resources,Income,Supply,Distribution of Income,Human Capital,Labor,Labor Market,Resources

online A Fair Wage
Income for most people is determined by the market value of the productive resources they sell. What workers earn depends, primarily, on the market value of what they produce and how productive they are.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Accounting Profit,Human Resources,Human Capital,Investment,Labor,Labor Market,Wage,Prices of Inputs,Accounting Loss

online Henry Ford and the Model T: A Case Study in Productivity (Part 2)
When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, he probably did not realize what a great impact his achievement would have on life in the United States. and, eventually, the world. Ford’s use of mass production strategies to manufacture the Model T revolutionized industrial manufacturing and initiated a new era in personal transportatio...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Factors of Production,Human Resources,Incentive,Production,Productive Resources,Entrepreneur,Human Capital,Labor,Productivity,Resources,Innovation

online Distribution of Income
Students engage in a simulation to explore how productivity influences the distribution of income and how government policy influences the redistribution of income. They calculate measures of central tendency for the entire class, their group's percentage of total classroom income, and graph the Lorenz curve as a representation of the income distribution using an online graphing tool. Students...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Redistribution of Income,Distribution of Income,Productivity,Income Inequality,Lorenz Curve,Gini Coefficient

online The 411 on College Education
One of the most important financial decisions people make is whether to go to college. The price tag of a college education is rising, but so are the benefits. In this lesson, students will begin by learning the relationship between level of education and the average unemployment rate; and level of education and median weekly income. Students then learn about wage premiums and investigate the vari...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Advertising,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Opportunity Cost,Human Capital,Human Capital Investment

online The Economics of the Family Farm
Learn about the status of farming as a career, investigate the management of a family farm, and examine one recent farm crisis in this lesson. You'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view some of the materials for this article.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital Resources,Demand,Factors of Production,Human Resources,Natural Resources,Supply

online Henry Ford and the Model T: A Case Study in Productivity (Part 3)
When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, it is doubtful even he realized the far reaching impact such an achievement would have on life in the U.S. and eventually, the world. Ford’s use of mass production strategies to manufacture the Model T revolutionized industrial manufacturing and initiated a new era in personal transportati...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Economic Growth,Entrepreneurship,Equilibrium Price,Markets,Price,Quantity Demanded,Quantity Supplied,Supply,Determinants of Demand,Determinants of Supply,Productivity,Profit

online Baseball Economics 201
As many baseball fans can tell you, the New York Yankees usually have a great season record, make the playoffs and make a run towards to the World Championship each year. The Yankees' success--as well as the success of other big market, high revenue teams--has led many to question whether smaller market teams can compete in Major League Baseball (MLB). In fact, in 2015, the Yankees had revenue...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Factors of Production,Incentive,Marginal Resource Product,Profit Maximization

online To Be or Not To Be?
This lesson guides students through web sites that examine careers that are typically of interest to 3rd- through 5th-grade students. By completing the steps outlined in the lesson, the students will explore careers and report their findings.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Human Resources,Human Capital,Investment

online Wages and Me
Students explore the reasons for differences in the wages for several occupations. Then students are guided through the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to find information about their potential careers and wage rates nationally and in their own states.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Income,Supply,Human Capital,Investment

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