[close window]
Virtual Economics

PRINT LESSONS:

Lesson 17 - How Financial Institutions Help Businesses Grow
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students read two case studies about the financing of businesses, contrasting modern approaches with approaches from the 1870s. Using transparencies, the students discuss the advantages of the corporate form of business organization over sole proprietorships and partnerships, while also discussing modern financial institutions that help American business firms grow.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Bond, Corporation, Federal Reserve System, Investment bank, Limited liability, Partnership, Sole proprietorship, Stock, Venture capital

Lesson 4 - Uncle Sam's Checkbook
Old MacDonald to Uncle Sam: Lesson Plans from Writers around the World
Students learn about the components of federal income taxes and expenditures. They also create and analyze political cartoons relevant to federal taxes and expenditures.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Income, Tax, Federal tax revenue, Payroll tax, Federal expenditures, Personal income tax,

Lesson 2 - Goods and Services: Some Are Private, Some Are Not
Old MacDonald to Uncle Sam: Lesson Plans from Writers around the World
Students make construction paper cutouts of businesses and structures and create a community map bulletin board. Students analyze the goods and services available in their community to determine that some are privately produced and governments provide others. Students learn that taxes, fees, and loans pay for government goods and services.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Government goods, Government services, Private goods, Private services, Taxes,

Lesson 19 - The Role of Government in Financial Markets
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students read background information about why the U.S. government has become involved in the regulation of financial markets. Then they work in small groups on five hypothetical cases illustrating common violations in the financial industry as reported by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Role of government, Regulation of the securities markets

Lesson 3 - Gross Domestic Pizza
Roosters to Robots: Lesson Plans from Writers around the World
This lesson explores how gross domestic product (GDP) is determined. The major components of GDP are described. Students create and compare GDP pie charts for the countries of Pepperonia and Anchovia.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: GDP, Consumer goods, Investment goods, Government spending

Theme 5: Lesson 17 - What Taxes Affect You?
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
In a perfect world, we would be provided roads, schools, police, parks, and other public goods and services without the burden of taxation. However, in most cases, government must offer these goods and services, because private industry will not provide them.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Income tax, Sales tax, Property tax, Taxes

Lesson 10 - Where Does the Money Go?
Focus: Middle School Economics
Students look at the categories of federal spending, discuss them, and calculate the percentage of spending in each category.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Public Goods, Nonexclusion, Shared Consumption, Taxes, Categories of Spending, Interest

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 10 - Why Drive When You Can Ride?
Economics and the Environment: Ecodetectives
The students examine data showing that many Americans prefer to drive their own automobiles rather than use mass public transit. They analyze this preference by reference to the costs and benefits of driving. In light of the external costs generated by automobile travel, the students evaluate market-oriented proposals for decreasing those costs.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Benefit, Cost, Externality

Lesson 14 - No Free Lunch
Focus: Middle School Economics
Students use a decision tree to analyze a budget problem at a public school
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Budget, Taxes, Cost-benefit analysis, Trade-offs

Lesson 13 - An Island Economy
Focus: Middle School Economics
Students participate in a "readers' theater" play too learn about gross domestic product.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Gross Domestic Product, Consumer Goods, Investment, Government expenditure, Exports, Imports

Lesson 11 - Where Does the Money Come From?
Focus: Middle School Economics
Students look at the categories of federal taxation, discuss them, and calculate the percentage of total taxes collected in each category.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Taxes, Categories of Federal Taxes, Excise Taxes, Payroll Taxes

Theme 4: Lesson 14 - Comparison Shopping
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
For some people, shopping is an art, and they spend hours and hours making a purchase decision. For others, the goal is to get in, buy it, and get out! Neither of these approaches is necessarily efficient. Making correct consumer choices requires a plan of action--one that neither takes too much of the consumer's time nor places the consumer in a vulnerable, misinformed position. In this lesso...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Comparison shopping, Consumer protection, Cost/benefit analysis

Lesson 6 - Public Goods and Services
Old MacDonald to Uncle Sam: Lesson Plans from Writers around the World
Students compare and define private and public goods. They receive money and must make a decision about paying for the heating in the classroom. This activity reinforces the concept of public goods and helps students identify and explain the free-rider problem. This lesson should be taught when the weather is cooler or cold.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Private goods, Private services, Public goods, Public services, Non-exclusion, Shared consumption, Free-rider, Taxes,

Lesson 12 - Charting a Budget
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 6-8
In this lesson, students learn what a budget is. They construct a pie chart to show the distribution of expenses in a budget. They learn about payroll deductions and determine the impact that payroll deductions have on a budget. Finally, they learn that the U.S. federal government uses tax revenue to pay for the goods and services it uses and provides. They construct graphs that represent the fede...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Budget, Taxes, Government revenue, Budget surplus, Government expenditures

Lesson 15 - Savers And Borrowers
Focus: Middle School Economics
In this lesson, students encounter difficulties in lending and borrowing. They identify financial institutions as effective intermediaries in this process. In closure they discuss the role credit can have on the growth of a community.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Saving, Interest, Financial intermediaries

Lesson 12: Resources for The News Journal
The International News Journal, Inc.
In this lesson students begin to make decisions about the kind of new journal they will produce. They also speculate on the necessary resources and their costs. The questions, "How much will people pay for the news journal?" and "How many should be produced?" are raised. Students learn how to use a market survey to get answers to these questions.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Business, Consumer entrepreneur, Market survey, Opportunity cost, Production, Productive resources

Theme 3: Lesson 10 - Let Lenders and Borrowers Be
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
Financial intermediaries perform an important function in our economy. Financial institutions accept deposits from those who want both a safe haven for their funds and income from the use of their funds. These institutions also lend funds to people who want to borrow. Investment bankers and stockbrokers perform a similar function in that they bring together those who wish to sell equities with ...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Financial intermediaries, Interest, Opportunity cost, Institutional investors, Operating costs, Profit

Lesson 2 - Why Do Free Goods Disappear Quickly?
Economics and the Environment: Ecodetectives
The teacher conducts a class discussion focused on how people tend to take better care of things they own and why they may be careless with things they do not own.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Incentives, Private property

Lesson 12 - Building Wealth over the Long Term
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students are introduced to the case of Charlayne, a woman who becomes, accidentally, a millionaire. Charlayne's success, the students learn, was unexpected, but not a miracle. It can be explained by three widely understood rules for building wealth over the long term: saving early, buying and holding, and diversifying. The lesson uses Charlayne's decisions to illustrate each of these rules. It...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Compound interest, Diversification, Forms of saving and investing, Reward, Risk

ONLINE LESSONS:

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 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 Checking Out Checking Accounts
This lesson uses a Better Money Habits poster to help students examine the features of checking accounts.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Transfer Payments,Interest,Bank,Check,Withdrawal,Automated Teller Machine (ATM),Bank Service Charges,Checking Account,Overdraft

online A Moo-ving Experience
Students gain an understanding about non-profit organizations and the role they play in our economy. Students then learn about a relatively new type of fundraising effort, known as CowParade©, for non- profit organizations that has been successful in a number of cities around the world. Students adapt CowParade for their own community.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Role of Government,Scarcity,Communities and Cities

online How Global is Your Portfolio?
This engaging lesson challenges students to connect economics and geography as they investigate global companies in the stock market.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Stock Market,Savings,Economic Institutions

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 No Fireworks on the 4th of July
This lesson explores the differences between public and private goods.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Goods,Public Goods

online Believe it or Not?
Advertisements can tell consumers about prices and other information that may help them in the decisions they make about what to buy. But students also should know that ads are slanted by sellers to show a product in the best light. This lesson reveals to students how advertisers use words and images to make goods and services look their best. To protect consumers and make sure that competition...
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Advertising,Competition,Decision Making,Maintaining Competition,Markets,Role of Government,Regulation

online Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution (Part 3)
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 improvem...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Competition,Incentive,Inventors,Profit Motive,Role of Government,Technological Changes,Investment,Profit,Property Rights,Innovation

online Competition Works in Our Flavor
Competition provides benefits for consumers. First, more competition means consumers have more choices of goods and services. Second, when more firms are offering goods and services, competition often leads to lower prices.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Competition,Role of Government,Monopolies

top ^