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Virtual Economics

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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 2: Lesson 6 - Choices Have Benefits and Costs
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work- Grades 7-8 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In a simulation, "What's in the Box?" students examine the benefits and costs of alternative choices.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Benefit, Cost, Opportunity cost,

Lesson 13 - Researching Companies
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students apply an economic way of thinking to gathering information regarding securities. They learn that the cost of acquiring information must be compared to the anticipated benefit the information will provide. The students discuss the example of LeBron James and recognize that there is intense competition to find information about companies. They select companies to research by participati...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Alternatives, Choice, Fundamental analysis, Opportunity cost, Scarcity

Lesson 15 - Why Don't People Save?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students examine risk-oriented behavior, considering why people often engage in behavior that is dangerous or unhealthy. They are introduced to the concept of cost/benefit analysis and asked to apply what they learn to questions about saving. They generate lists of savings goals and categorize those goals as short-term, medium-term and long-term. They learn why long-term goals are more difficu...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Benefits, Costs, Goals, Incentives, Interest, Long-term goal, Medium-term goal, Opportunity cost, Saving, Short-term goal

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,

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 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,

Theme 1: Lesson 2 - Consumer Decision Making
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, the student learn that every decision involves alternatives. They practice using the PACED decision-making process.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Opportunity cost, Trade-offs, Alternative, Criteria, Cost/benefit analysis

Lesson 7 - Which Pet is Right for You?
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 6-8
This lesson focuses on a topic that is at the heart of economics, that of decision making. Decision making from an economic perspective requires individuals to consider both the benefits and costs for each alternative. Human nature, however, often makes this benefit-cost analysis a foregone conclusion as people emphasize the benefits of what they think they want and ignore or minimize the costs of...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Benefit, Costs, Cost/benefit analysis, Opportunity cost, Choice, Decision making

Unit 2: Lesson 4 - How Can I Make Decisions About My Future?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In the mid-1700s thousands of Europeans traveled to North America seeking adventure, freedom, and economic opportunity. The risk of deciding to travel across the Atlantic Ocean in a wooden ship was great, but the potential rewards were even greater.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Alternative, Benefit, Choice, Cost, Emigrate, Immigrate, Indenture, Primogeniture, Risk,

Unit 3: Lesson 14 - Choices Made by Others Affect Me
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work- Grades 7-8 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Reading and analyzing a dilemma, students learn to recognize how other people's choices can affect them. Students respond to a series of events, indicating how they may or may not have been affected.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Alternative, Choice, Consequence,

Unit 3: Lesson 11 - Choices Have Consequences
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work- Grades 7-8 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In a paired writing activity, students identify potential actions and outcomes from brief life situations, and they learn that choices have consequences.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Consequence, Alternatives, Choice,

Theme 2: Lesson 5 - Why Stay in School?
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, the students are encouraged to weigh costs and benefits when making decisions about education. The students will recognize that, on average, the higher the educational attainment, the greater the level of income one can expect. They will also discover that as people advance in their education, they are less likely to suffer unemployment.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Income, Opportunity cost, Costs, Benefit

Theme 5: Lesson 15 - Managing Cash
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
Although most middle school and junior high students do not hold full-time jobs, they do have spending power. They may earn money from an allowance or a part-time job, and they have discretionary income that totals, by some estimates, billions of dollars a year.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Fixed expenses, Variable expenses, Periodic income, Budget, Opportunity cost, Trade-off, Planned expense, Unplanned expense

Unit 1: Lesson 5 - Economic Choice and Opportunity Cost
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work- Grades 7-8 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Through a reading, students learn how scarcity makes choices necessary and results in opportunity cost.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Alternative, Economic want, Opportunity cost, Scarcity, Cost,

Lesson 4 - The Environment: Who Loves Ya, Baby?
Economics and the Environment: Ecodetectives
The students participate in a simulation activity that illustrates how incentives influence the behavior of people trying to earn income. In a variation of the simulation activity, they observe the effects of rule changes. When the rules change, the incentives change, and new issues of cost arise. Then the students apply a similar analysis to open-pit mining operations, taking note of a shift in c...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Choice, External cost, Incentives, Opportunity cost

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

Theme 1: Lesson 1 - The Economic Way of Thinking
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, the students practice the economic way of thinking, a strategy for analyzing their own decisions as well as those of others.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Opportunity cost, Incentives, Consequence

Lesson 8 - The Costs and Benefits of Having Children
Economics and the Environment: Ecodetectives
The students analyze data about rich and poor countries in order to examine the impact of economic wealth on population growth. Then they read a letter written by a Wisconsin farmer in 1854 regarding the work done by children in his household. They compare the value that children bring to a household in poor countries today with the value the children brought to the Wisconsin farm in 1854. Finally...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Benefits, Incentives, Opportunity cost

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,

ONLINE LESSONS:

online Sand Art Brownies
In this lesson, you will learn about substitute goods. You will have choices to make in your role as a shopper. In making these choices, you will decide whether you are willing to accept one good as a substitute for another or not. Are you willing to make substitutions at the grocery store? Complete this lesson and see.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Opportunity Cost,Scarcity,Trade-off,Benefit,Costs

online "The Giver": Jonas Makes a Choice
Jonas, a twelve-year old, lives in a seemingly perfect futuristic world. His community protects him from all harm and in doing so has taken away his opportunity to make decisions. Will Jonas ever be able to make a choice on his own? This lesson is based on the award-winning book "The Giver" by Lois Lowry, [Houghton Mifflin, Co., 1993.]
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Incentive,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity,Benefit,Costs,Alternative

online Staying Afloat Financially in the 21st Century
This lesson will help students identify how to make good decisions which will help them financially in the future. Students will identify how to take their own wants and work them into a form of a personal budget. Students will also discuss various financial scenarios and decide what course of action would be the best to follow.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Budget,Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Opportunity Cost,Substitute Good

online The Opportunity Cost of a Lifetime
All economic questions and problems arise from scarcity. Economics assumes people do not have the resources do satisfy all of their wants. Therefore, we must make choices about how to allocate those resources. We make decisions about how to spend our money and use our time. This EconomicsMinute will focus on the central idea of economics- every choice involves a cost.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Choice,Decision Making,Opportunity Cost,Trade-off,Costs

online Work, Earnings and Economics: Using 'Lyddie' by Katherine Paterson
To get started, the students will read Lyddie, a novel by Katherine Paterson. The novel is set mainly in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s. In Lowell the main character, 13-year-old Lyddie Worthen, works six days a week, from dawn until dusk, running weaving looms in a murky dust-and lintfilled factory, trying to save enough money to reunite her family. In reading and discussing this fine nov...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Budget,Choice,Decision Making,Economic Freedom,Economic Growth,Economic Wants,Human Resources,Incentive,Money Management,Opportunity Cost,Role of Government,Scarcity,Technological Changes,Borrower,Interest,Labor,Labor Union,Market Economy,Money,Resources,Special Interest Group,Standard of Living,Wants,Wage,Regulation,Savings,Savers

online The South's Decision to Secede: A Violation of Self Interest?
Essential Dilemma Your students will consider the following questions: In deciding to secede from the Union in 1861, did the South violate its own self-interest and thus disprove the basic economic principle that people seek to further their self-interest in the decisions they make? To get at the question, each student will assume the role of an ardent secessionist. Acting in this role, the stude...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Costs,Resources

online Budget Odyssey
Students will begin the Budget Odyssey driving a minibus to Budget Balancing Bliss via a board game. Students will answer questions about income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses. Once the student reaches the end of the board game the player will be presented with a spreadsheet upon which they will calculate their net gain or loss.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Decision making, Choices, Budget, Income, Budget surplus/analysis

online Buying a Car
Students will assume they are shopping to buy a car. They will select a model they feel best fits their needs and budget. Students will calculate the expense of buying and owning a car, including finance, operating, and maintenance costs.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Decision making, Choices, Cost/benefit analysis

online There is Something in the Water
The United States is losing 60,000 acres of wetlands each year. Is this good or bad? Does anyone really want to live in swamps, fens, bogs, and marshes? Or is it better economics to drain the wetlands for other purposes like agricultural development? In this lesson students will learn about this monumental issue facing the United States while viewing it from an economic perspective.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Natural Resources,Scarcity,Trade-off

online Q T Pi Fashions - Learning About Credit Card Use
Credit cards are convenient, user friendly, and at times dangerous. In this lesson students learn the joys and dangers of using credit as they help Credit, the main character in this activity, solve her credit problems.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Consumer Economics,Consumers,Credit,Decision Making,Incentive,Interest Rate,Money Management

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