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Virtual Economics

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Theme 2: Lesson 4 - The Grasshopper and the Ant
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, children use an adaptation of Aesop's fable, "The Grasshopper and the Ant," to learn about the trade-off between satisfying wants today and planning for the future. Children use the fable to examine their own behaviors and decisions about saving. They learn how interest provides an incentive to save. Writing their own fable provides the children with a creative way to express th...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Opportunity cost, Trade-offs, Saving, Interest,

Lesson 2: Savings Accounts and U.S. Savings Bonds
Learning, Earning and Investing: Grades 4-5 Lessons
People who want to save money can do so in various ways. One method is to use a savings account; another is to buy U. S. Savings Bonds. In this lesson, the students learn about these two methods of saving.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Decimal, Face value, Interest, Interest rate, Percent, Savings account, U.S. Savings Bond

Lesson 32: Choice Making
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
Once the books have been sold, the class decides what to do with the money left over (if any) after paying back the loan or credit and any other expenses incurred in the business. The teacher emphasizes that the money left over is payment to the class for all its hard work in the company. The students consider what choices are available to them, for such as charity or to buy more or new educatio...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice, Credit, Interest, Investment, Loan, Opportunity cost, Profit,

Theme 3: Lesson 13 - Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, students role-play how they would respond to various lending situations and analyze how to make better decisions about lending. By assuming the role of lender, students will analyze the qualities necessary to receive a loan. They will recognize that these are qualities they may wish to develop to improve their opportunities to borrow in the future.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Credit, Debt, Lending, Borrowing, Costs, Benefits, Interest,

Lesson 3: What Happens When a Bank Makes a Loan?
Learning, Earning and Investing: Grades 4-5 Lessons
The students play roles in a simulation activity designed to show how bank loans made to individuals can have an impact on others in the community. Then, working in small groups, the students analyze other hypothetical loans, using flow charts or other diagrams to describe the probable impact of each.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Bank, Income, Interest, Loan, Profit

Theme 2: Lesson 5 - Why? How? Where?
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
This lesson provides some practical activities to extend students' understanding about how to make saving choices. Children set a goal, determine a strategy for saving, and decide how they will save to best achieve that goal. They can also learn the basics of using savings accounts.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Incentives, Opportunity cost, Saving, Saving goal,

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 7: People Must Decide How to Allocate Income.
Children in the Marketplace: Lesson Plans in Economics for Grades 3 and 4
Economics involves the study of how people make choices necessitated by the condition of universal scarcity of resources in relation to human wants. One basic choice individuals must make when they earn or otherwise receive money is whether to spend their entire income on goods and services for consumption in the present or to put aside -- that is, save -- at least a portion of that income. Savi...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Saving, Investment, Profit, Resources,

Chapter 3: Lesson 16 - The Big Piggy Bank Mystery
The Great Economic Mysteries Book: A Guide to Teaching Economic Reasoning, Grades 4-8
Students describe an economic mystery and discuss various explanations of it. They use economic principles and true/false clues in reasoning out a solution to the mystery.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Profit, Saving and Investing

Lesson 10: Saving and Investing - Planning For the Future
Play Dough Economics
In this lesson, students will learn that individuals either save or consumer after-tax income; that saving has an opportunity cost - giving up current consumption; that consuming has an opportunity cost - giving up greater future consumption; that savings which are invested in the production or purchase of capital result in increased productivity, and create the possibility of greater future incom...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Saving, Investment, Income, Consumption, Opportunity cost, Choice, Productivity

Theme 4: Lesson 15 - It's a Balancing Act
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, the students use manipulatives to learn about income, expenses (variable, fixed), and budgeting.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Income, Expenses, Fixed expenses, Variable expenses, Budget, Human resources, Wage, Taxes, Saving,

Chapter 3: Lesson 10 - Sherri Rejects a Sure Thing
The Great Economic Mysteries Book: A Guide to Teaching Economic Reasoning, Grades 4-8
Students describe an economic mystery and discuss various explanations of it. They use economic principles and true/false clues in reasoning out a solution to the mystery.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Saving and Investing

Lesson 1: Stock Prices
Learning, Earning and Investing: Grades 4-5 Lessons
Newspaper and Internet listings of stock prices provide important information for investors. Gathering and understanding information found in the stock listings is an important life skill, and also a useful skill for students participating in stock market simulations. This lesson introduces information typically found in stock listings, focusing on the basic elements.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Decimal, Diversification, Fraction, Mixed number, Stock, Whole number

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 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,

Theme 4: Lesson 14 - Managing Money
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
A budget is frightening to many people. It brings thoughts of sacrifice or giving up things they want. It is seldom seen as a helpful tool for making better decisions about the things they want, including financial success. Although the amount of income to be managed at any given time may seem small, a family with $35,000 in annual income will manage to earn over $1.4 million over 40 years. No...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Income, Expenses, Saving, Costs, Benefits

Lesson 26: Study Trip
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
This optional lesson gives students the experience of visiting a bank to obtain a loan for their business. The lesson requires advance planning.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Business, Credit, Interest, Loan,

Lesson 15: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
Eleven-year-old Claudia Kincaid feels that too much responsibility has been placed on her at home. To make her family appreciate her more, she decides to run away from home. Claudia persuades her younger brother, Jamie, to accompany her on a trip to a most unlikely place -- the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Scarcity, Savings, Price, Inflation, Goods and Services, Opportunity Cost, Interdependence

Lesson 25: Obtaining a Bank Loan
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
This and the following lesson are designed to familiarize students with that process of obtaining a loan from a bank. You may choose either to invite a banker to visit the classroom or take a study trip to a bank to obtain a loan. Either of these lessons can replace Lesson 24.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Business, Credit, Interest, Loan,

Lesson 13: A Chair for My Mother
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
When all their possessions were burned in a fire, a little girl, her mother, and grandmother save all their extra money to buy a special chair. The characters make choices to save in order to obtain something important to them.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Human Resources, Savings, Scarcity, Wages, Consumers, Opportunity Cost

ONLINE LESSONS:

online Big Banks, Piggy Banks
When choosing a place to put their money, people consider how safe their money will be, how easy it is to access, and whether it will earn more money. Students explore how well different savings places achieve these objectives. Students learn that people who don’t want to carry money with them or keep it at home often choose to put their money in a savings account at a bank or credit union. ...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Choice,Decision Making,Money Management,Interest,Savings

online You Can BANK on This! (Part 3)
Building on the first two lessons in the series, this lesson deals with savings and interest.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Choice,Incentive,Interest,Savings,Savers

online The Grasshopper and the Ant
Understanding the concept of opportunity cost is critical for good decision making. The ability to identify the opportunity cost—the highest valued alternative that must be given up when another option is chosen—helps people to assess their alternatives.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Economic Wants,Opportunity Cost,Trade-off,Interest,Savings,Spend

online The Story of Jack and the Bank Stalk
Fairy tales have always been used to give lessons about life. The story of Jack and the Bean Stalk is a good lesson about the importance of knowing about money and banks. The story of Jack asks the question, "What is money?"
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Exchange,Functions of Money,Interest Rate,Opportunity Cost,Currency,Money,Characteristics of Money

online What's My Interest?
Students explore the concept of interest by means of two activities. The first, a simple activity with jellybeans, introduces the concept of interest accruement, and the second, a practical, "real world" activity, reinforces the concept and places it into a larger context.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Interest Rate,Savings

online Clickety Clack, Let's Keep Track!
This lesson will show students the importance of keeping track of their savings.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Budget,Choice,Economic Security,Functions of Money,Money Management,Savings

online Money Comes and Goes
Students read two online stories that introduce them to the elements of a budget and show that a successful budget balances money coming in (income) with money going out (expenses and savings). Follow-up activities point out the value of a budget. Students learn that a budget can help us make sure we buy the things we really need and want. A budget can also help us save for things that we can&rsqu...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Budget,Income,Savings

online You Can BANK on This! (Part 4)
This lesson deals with credit and wraps up this unit on finance.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Credit,Interest,Profit

online Banks, Bankers, Banking
Students will demonstrate understanding of the processes associated with banking by role- playing as customers, tellers, and guards.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Division of Labor,Specialization,Savings,Economic Institutions

online Banking is INTEREST-ing!
Banks are important to Americans. We use banks to save money and earn interest, or borrow money and pay interest. This lesson introduces the concepts of banking to children.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Savings

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