[close window]
Virtual Economics

PRINT LESSONS:

Theme 2: Lesson 4 - Productivity
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, the students examine ways to develop their human capital, that is, their value as a human resource. They discover that by developing their human capital, they make themselves more productive. They also find that they can be more productive by using capital resources, the tools of their trade. The more productive they become as a human resource, the more valuable they will become...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Capital resources, Human capital, Wage, Productivity

Lesson 3 - Economics and Population Demographics
Middle School World Geography: Focus on Economics
In this lesson, the students use data and graphs to analyze and compare the populations and standards of living for different countries. The students begin by building a population pyramid of the children in their families over three generations. They then analyze population pyramids to describe the demographic structure of different countries' populations and to analyze the implications of these ...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Economics, Gross domestic product, Gross domestic product per capita, Standard of living, Labor productivity, Human capital, Intermediate goods

Lesson 3 - Productivity in the Fertile Crescent
Old MacDonald to Uncle Sam: Lesson Plans from Writers around the World
In this lesson, students participate in three rounds of a simulation in which they are merchants who must keep written records on their trades. In Round 1 they do not have some required skills or knowledge and are unable to produce written records. They must rely on scribes. In Round 2 the merchants use new information about Babylonia numerals and the Phoenician alphabet and receive training in...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Labor productivity, Human capital, Technological change, Capital goods,

Lesson 8 - Ideas That Changed the World
Middle School World Geography: Focus on Economics
In this lesson, the students learn about productivity and its connection to the standard of living. They learn about inventions that changed the world. The students make predictions about recent inventions and the impact of these inventions on productivity, standard of living and quality of life.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Technological change, Productivity, Capital goods (resources), Human capital, Standard of living

Unit 4: Lesson 10 - What Are the Advantages of Working with Others to Produce?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students read historical fiction set in 1855 in the Oregon Territory. The story illustrates the results of people working interdependently. The students identify ways in which the characters in the story worked together.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Division of labor, Homestead, Human capital, Interdependence, Produce, Specialization,

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 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 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,

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 5: Lesson 14 - How Can I Overcome Obstacles to Achieve My Goals?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students play The Road to Success game. While playing the game, they identify obstacles and ways to overcome obstacles to achieve a goal. They identify the incentives they respond to when they make choices and the opportunity cost of their choices.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Character trait, Cost, Creativity, Curiosity, Goal, Incentives, Motivation, Obstacle, Persistence, Problem solving,

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,

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 3 - Invest in Yourself
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
To explore the concept that people invest in themselves through education, the students work in two groups and participate in a mathematics game. Both groups are assigned mathematics problems to solve. One group is told about a special technique for solving the problems. The other group is not. The game helps the students recognize that improved human capital allows people to produce more in the s...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Human capital, Income, Investment in human capital, Opportunity cost

Unit 1: Lesson 2 - How Can I Improve My Human Capital?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students read about the experiences of Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal 600 years ago. He organized a way to improve human capital, enabling him to accomplish his goals and enabling others to seek greater economic opportunities.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Human capital, Navigation, Physical capital, Specialist, Technology,

Lesson 7 - The T-riffic T's Company: Production Decisions
Focus: Middle School Economics
Students help the managers of a T-shirt company make business decisions about the production process. They analyze the costs and benefits of investing in new capital equipment in order to increase productivity.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Productive Resources, Natural Resources, Human Resources, Capital Resources, Productivity, Investment in capital goods

Unit 1: Lesson 1 - What If I Do Not Have the Skills and Knowledge I Need to Produce?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Teams of students use their limited knowledge to accomplish a challenging task. Most of the student teams will not be successful until they acquire the necessary knowledge. The students read one of two selected books in which the main character faces problems as a result of having limited skills and knowledge.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Abuelo, Barter, Benefits, Costs, Dodecagon, Human capital, Natural resources, Physical capital, Polygon, Produce, Production, Resources, Work ethic,

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 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

Unit 5: Lesson 13 - Why Should I Set Goals and Plan to Achieve My Goals?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students create lists of their personal goals and prioritize the goals on their lists. They identify the goals that will require development of their human capital. They identify ways in which they will be interdependent with others as they achieve their goals.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Goal, Human capital, Interdependence, Priority

Unit 1: Lesson 4 - I am Part of the Economy
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work- Grades 7-8 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Through case study and discussion, students explore the human capital needed in a job. In an extension activity involving use of the Internet, students are introduced to youth employment.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Choice, Consumer, Economy, Human capital, Market economy,

ONLINE LESSONS:

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 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 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 Case Study on Productivity (1 of 3): Henry Ford and the Model T
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 transportation...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Division of Labor,Factors of Production,Production,Productive Resources,Specialization,Entrepreneur,Labor,Productivity,Resources,Innovation

online Dumptown, USA: Making a Ton of Difference
The amount of trash produced in the United States is mounting with each passing year. Communities are finding it increasingly difficult and costly to handle trash disposal. Recycling is considered a key solution to the garbage problem. In this lesson, students explore the extent to which various types of solid waste contribute to the problem. They then assume the role of city managers who must cho...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Budget,Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Economic Efficiency,Incentive,Role of Government,Benefit,Costs,Marginal Analysis,Communities and Cities

online WIDGET PRODUCTION: Producing More, Using Less
In the first part of the lesson students take a quiz to review the major concepts taught in Lesson 7, "Widget Production," from Master Curriculum Guide in Economics: Teaching Strategies 5-6. Students then search the web for examples of the many ways in which productivity has been increased over the years. Finally, they identify a situation where an increase in productivity could ...
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Division of Labor,Specialization,Investment,Productivity

online The Columbian Exchange
In this lesson, students learn that the Columbian Exchange resulted in an enormous exchange of goods, resources, and institutions between the Old World and the New World and that the results of the Exchange were both positive and negative. The lesson begins with an activity in which students are divided into two groups: Old World consumers and New World consumers. Students are given food cards to ...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Productive Resources,Specialization,Legal Foundations of a Market Economy,Market Economy,Productivity,Standard of Living,Voluntary Exchange,Trade

online Capital Chips (Part 1)
Through the use of a historical timeline of the capital investments made by the company the resulting benefits will be examined. The benefits from the capital investments of Herr Foods, Inc. will be related to their effect on the standard of living. Then students will visit one of three websites, select an innovation/invention of their choice to analyze in terms of its impact on producti...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Capital Resources,Production,Technological Changes,Benefit,Productivity

online Marketplace: Let's Go Euro!
With the start of the new year in 2002, the 12 members of the European Union launched a single currency across their borders, replacing individual country currencies and singling out the Euro as their one shared monetary denomination. Marketplace, a daily economics news program heard on National Public Radio, featured a story on January 2, 2002 about the currency change of the landmark ev...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Economic Efficiency,Exchange,Exchange Rate

online Human Capital For Money
The first part of this lesson introduces students to the terms human capital, occupation, salary, and wages. Part two of this lesson provides the students an opportunity to compare selected careers including median salary and education statistics. The final part of this lesson provides a vehicle for students to research and report a career or occupation of interest. The report is in th...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Factors of Production,Human Resources,Specialization

top ^