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Virtual Economics

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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 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,

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,

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 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,

Unit 2: Lesson 6 - What Results When People Can Produce More?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students become components of their circular flow model, representing the producer and consumer sectors, while making exchanges in resource and product markets. Productive resources, goods and services, consumer spending, and income move around the flow model. As more resources are added to the flow, more goods and services are produced, more income is earned, and consumers purchase more goods a...
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Circular flow model, Consumer, Consumer/household sector, Goods and services, Human capital, Income, Producer, Producer/business sector, Product market, Resource, Resource market, Revenue,

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,

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,

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 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 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 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,

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 5: Mystery Almanac
The Wide World of Trade
Working in groups, students participate in an activity to identify countries from around the world. Based on what they learn about these countries, students complete an Information Resources Chart. The goal is to have students recognize what information supplied about the countries can tell them about the countries' resource endowments and standards of living.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Productive resources, Economic system, Natural resources, Human resources, Capital goods, Human capital, Investment in human capital, Gross domestic product, Per capita gross domestic product,

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 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

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

Theme 2: Lesson 3 - Career Choice Making
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, the students learn that career choices are easier to make if they understand the job market, recognize their own aptitudes, and realize the relationship between marketable skills and workplace success. They will begin by examining statistics projecting the future demand for various occupations. Then they will complete a self-assessment to identify career pathways that match their...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Human capital, Entrepreneurs, Opportunity cost

Unit 3: Lesson 7 - Can I Produce Something People Want?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students use common objects to produce goods they think people will use to satisfy wants. They read a biography of inventor George Washington Carver, learning how Carver helped tenant farmers in the South improve the soil and how he invented many products that could be produced using peanuts.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Derived demand, Goobers, Goods and services, Human capital, Invention, Inventor, Natural resources, Physical capital, Productive resources, Sharecropper, Tenant farmer, Wants,

ONLINE LESSONS:

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 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 Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 18, 2016 is Martin Luther King Day. Students can explore the history behind this day and this charismatic man by following the links below. By completing the lesson which follows, students will learn that Civil Rights legislation (developed thanks, in part, to MLK) actually occurred after the beginnings of the development of the black middle class and did not precede it.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Human Capital,Investment

online Worker Safety - The Triangle Fire Legacy
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 was a turning point for employee health and safety protections in the U.S. Students investigate the Triangle tragedy and how its impact is still felt today. Students identify eerie parallels between the Triangle Fire and more recent workplace events with safety implications – recent complaints of Wal-Mart employee lock-ins, a deadly fire in a No...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Role of Government,Benefit,Costs,Labor,Labor Union,Special Interest Group

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 Where's the Beef?
Students explore meat consumption statistics, an indicator of a nation's relative prosperity and standard of living. They do a survey of a family's meat consumption and compare their results to statistics from Colonial and modern-day America.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Natural Resources,Productive Resources

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 The Price of Gasoline: What's Behind It?
In this lesson, students investigate the variables that contribute to the cost of gasoline. They learn that while OPEC nations do influence the price of oil and thus the price of gasoline, other factors also influence the price.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Demand,Factors of Production,Markets,Price,Production,Profit Motive,Supply,Law of Demand,Profit,Taxes,Monopolies

online Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution (Part 1)
Advancements in transportation have played a key role in the growth of our nation. U.S.government policies have also had a considerable impact on the development of transport as we know it today. In this series of three lessons,the students examine transportation and its impact on our nation (and vice versa) since the United States declared its independence in 1776. Lesson 1 focuses on improvement...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Economic Growth,Incentive,Inventors,Markets,Non-price Determinants,Price,Role of Government,Specialization,Supply,Technological Changes,Costs,Determinants of Supply,Gains from Trade,Investment,Standard of Living,Transaction Costs,Innovation

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