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Virtual Economics

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Lesson 14: Orange Juice Jubilee
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 3-4
The simulation is a two-lesson unit designed to serve as a culminating activity for the review of economic concepts taught in the pervious thirteen lessons.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Division of labor, Decision making, Productive resources, Human capital, Interdependence, Market economy, Supply, Demand, Price, Collateral, Interest, Entrepreneurship,

Lesson 19: Leave the Cooking to Me
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
Leave the Cooking to Me is a humorous, yet touching story of a young girl's responsibility for keeping meals on the table for her single-parent mother and her little sister. Shirley Merton decides to take this daily chore a step further. Without her mother's knowledge. Shirley, a.k.a. Vanessa, opens her own catering business. Her enthusiasm for her new job keeps her from becoming discouraged w...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Entnrepreneur, Opportunity Cost, Human Capital, Profit, Productive Resources, Human Resources, Specialization, Costs

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 4: Lesson 16 - Entrepreneurs and the Interdependence of Buyers and Sellers
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 2-4 - Teacher's Resource Manual
People often think of themselves as consumers, but not as producers. In this lesson, students will meet business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs so that they can identify with them and perhaps aspire to start their own business someday. Students should recognize that business owners depend on consumers to help them earn a living. Students should come away from this lesson realizing that "We...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Alternative, Choice, Consequence, Consumer, Entrepreneur, Human capital, Innovation, Interdependence, Invention, Interview, Opportunity cost, Physical capital, Production, Work,

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 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

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,

Lesson 7: Widget Production
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 5-6
In order to produce an output of goods or services, a firm needs inputs or factors of production. Businesses must purchase natural, human, and capital resources. Entrepreneurship is provided by the owner or manager of the firm. These inputs can be combined in different ways to produce the firm's product.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Factors of production, Productivity, Increasing productivity, Opportunity cost, Division of labor, Specialization, Investment,

Unit 3: Lesson 11 - Workers Use Other Resources
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 2-4 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students will define resources as things that people can use to produce goods or services. They will identify human capital as a resource, identify examples of land, and identify examples of physical capital. Students will also recognize how capital resources help workers do their jobs faster, easier, and/or better.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Human capital, Land resources, Physical capital, Resources,

Lesson 12: The Tortilla Factory
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
The Tortilla Factory is a simple, yet enjoyable way to introduce the concept of production to your students. The book very simply explains the process of producing tortillas, from collecting the productive resources to marketing the final product. Students will learn the differences between the natural resources, capital resources, and human resources used in production.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Natural Resources, Capital Resources, Human Capital, Interdependence, Productive Resources, Human Resources, Investment

Lesson 28: Assembling The News Journal
The International News Journal, Inc.
By producing their own news journal, students experience firsthand how people divide work and cooperate in business. They discuss the assembly process and relate the experience to businesses in their community.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Division of labor, Interdependence, Human resource, productivity, specialization

Lesson 27: Preparation for the Assembly Process
The International News Journal, Inc.
In this lesson the classroom corporation (students, teachers, volunteers) prepares the news journal for assembly. They review the steps to follow in assembly and make a list of rules for workers to follow. Students apply for various jobs in the assembly process by completing a job application form.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Division of labor, Human resource, Interdependence, Productivity, Specialization

Lesson 29: The Production Process
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
Students produce their class book and thereby experience first-hand how people specialize and cooperate in a business. The children discuss the results of the production process and relate the experience to other businesses in their community.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Human resources, Interdependence, Productivity, Specialization,

Lesson 8: Specialization - Making Production More Efficient
Play Dough Economics
In this lesson, students will learn that specialization and division of labor increase productivity, resulting in higher incomes; the disadvantages of specialization and division of labor.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Specialization, Productivity, Division of labor, Efficiency, Productive resources, Output, Input

Lesson 28: Preparation for Production
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
This lesson prepares the class for assembling the books. You will review the steps in production with the class. The students will then develop a list of rules for the workers to follow. At the conclusion of the lesson the workers will make the identification cards they will wear in the next lesson.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Human resources, Productivity, Specialization,

Lesson 17: Island of the Blue Dolphin
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
Karana is an Indian girl stranded alone on an island for 18 years. When the rest of her tribe is forced ot flee the island, she learns to use her human resources and the island's natural resources to survive.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Natural Resources, Scarcity, Trade, Division of Labor, Human Resources, Capital Resources, Specialization, Conservation

Lesson 1: Charlie Needs a Cloak
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
Charlie and his favorite sheep produce a good - a new cloak. Students learn about the different productive resources (natural, human, and capital) that Charlie uses. Charlie does not specialize in his production - he does all the production steps himself (unit production).
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Productive Resources, Human Resources, Specialization, Natural Resources, Capital Resources

Lesson 21: Night of the Twister
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
This story, based on a real event, tells how the Hatch family and the people of Grand Island, Nebraska, survive a night of terror when their town is devastated by several tornadoes. Toghther they not only live through the tragedy but rebuild their lives and the community.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Productive Resources, Government Agencies, Specialization, Scarcity, Taxes, Public Goods

Lesson 27: Job Application
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
The students discuss the jobs on the production line that will be necessary to produce the books. They consider personal strengths and abilities that would qualify them for particular jobs. They also complete a job application form.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Human resources, Productivity, Specialization, Interdependence,

ONLINE LESSONS:

online Booker T. Washington:"Fifty Cents and a Dream"
Young Booker T. Washington had a dream. That dream was to use the resources at his disposal to earn the money necessary to get an education that would allow him and others to become financially secure. This lesson based on the picture book "Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington" by Jabari Asim challenges young students to make connections between history and economic concepts.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Capital Resources,Decision Making,Economic Growth,Human Resources,Income,Productive Resources,Scarcity,Specialization,Capital,Job

online The Crow and the Pitcher
Students will learn about scarcity, and how entrepreneurial ideas, managing natural resources and trading can help lessen scarcity. Students will listen to the story, "The Crow and the Pitcher" from Aesop's Fables, then participate in a trading activity to obtain crayons, and color a picture relating to the story.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Decision Making,Entrepreneurship,Natural Resources,Scarcity,Specialization,Entrepreneur,Labor,Trade

online Economic Spotter: Resources During World War II
In World War II pennies were made of steel and zinc instead of copper and women were working at jobs that men had always been hired to do. Why? Because during war times, scarcity forces many things to change!
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Capital Resources,Choice,Human Resources,Natural Resources,Opportunity Cost,Productive Resources,Scarcity,Technological Changes,Human Capital,Investment

online Destination: Mars
Look up! Can you ever imagine standing on another planet and looking down at earth? We've been to the moon - now lets launch an expedition to Mars. Imagine all the preparation you will have to go through in order to have a safe and successful mission! You must decide what you should take, how you will prepare yourself and carefully think through each and every choice – once you lift ...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Human Resources,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity

online How Labor Got Its Day
If you asked students what comes to mind first when they think of Labor Day, what do you think they would say? The last days of summer? A family picnic? Shopping the Labor Day sales? The purpose of this lesson is to broaden and deepen student understanding of the Labor Day holiday. Students will learn why workers organized unions during the nineteenth century to fight for higher pay and better wor...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Producers,Production,Labor,Labor Market,Labor Union,Profit,Insurance

online Lean on Me -- We depend on each other!
The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate that the production of most goods can be broken down into a number of specific tasks (division of labor), with each of these tasks assigned to specific workers (specialization.)
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Division of Labor,Interdependence,Productive Resources,Specialization

online Hawaiian Economics: Barter for Fish & Poi
In ancient Hawaii, chiefs managed the economy by creating a land division system, the Ahupua'a, which divided the islands into pie slice shapes. Each Ahupua'a covered the three main regions of the islands: the mountains, the valleys, and the beach. This system was designed to allow all Hawaiian communities equal access to the limited natural resources of the islands. However, it took a lot...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Barter,Division of Labor,Exchange,Interdependence,Natural Resources,Specialization,Productivity

online Specialists Light Up Our Lives!
Peppe and his family moved to America to pursue the American dream. His mother has passed away, his father is ill,and all the children need to find work to help provide for basic essentials. Peppe is excited to find a job, only to be told by his dad that it is not a job he should be proud of. This lesson will challenge students to consider specialists in the community and the valuable goods and s...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Goods,Human Resources,Income,Interdependence,Specialization,Services

online Ben & Jerry's Flavor Graveyard
Ben & Jerry are producers of ice cream. Even if they produce ice cream for the entire nation, they still must make choices on which flavor to produce! Scarce resources force them to make a choice!
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Entrepreneurship,Producers,Productive Resources,Scarcity

online Hawaiian Economics: From the Mountains to the Sea
Ancient Hawaii was ruled by chiefs, who were responsible for the well-being of their people and for managing the islands' resources. The chiefs divided the islands into land districts shaped like pie slices called Ahupua'a (ah-who- pu-ah-ah.) Each Ahupua'a covered the three main regions of the islands: the mountains, the valleys, and the shore. This system was designed to allow all Hawaiian commun...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Decision Making,Economic Systems,Natural Resources,Scarcity,Trade-off

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