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Virtual Economics

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Lesson 2 - Do the Right Thing: Free the Slaves, Avoid the War
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students examine data about slaveholding in Northern states and role-play state legislatures who must find a method to emancipate the slaves in their state peacefully. They then compare their plans with the plan followed in New York in 1799.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Cost

Theme 1: Lesson 2 - The Economic Way of Thinking
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
Lesson 2 introduces students to the economic reasoning process or the "economic way of thinking." Students reason through two situations, using The Handy Dandy Guide, a primer on economic reasoning.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Opportunity cost, Wants, Cost/benefit analysis, Decision making, Incentives

Unit 1: Lesson 1 - Economic Reasoning: Why Are We A Nation of Couch Potatoes?
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine visuals to identify an economic mystery regarding exercise and diet. They use the Guide to Economic Reasoning to analyze the costs and benefits of decisions about diet and exercise. They discover that human behavior is influenced by choices, costs, incentives, rules, voluntary exchange, and future consequences, even in decisions about diet and exercise.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Economic systems, Future consequences, Incentives, Opportunity cost, Voluntary trade

Unit 1: Lesson 5 - Rules Influence Economic Behavior
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
The lesson begins with a demonstration of how rules and incentives influence students' behavior in the classroom. Then students apply the same analysis to behavior in the larger economy. (WARNING: Given the unusual grading procedure specified in Procedure 5, this lesson may be hazardous to teacher's health.)
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choices, Incentives, Interdependence

Unit 6: Lesson 5 - Improving Transportation
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
By examining economic mysteries and statistics, students learn how improvements in transportation reduced the costs of making goods available to consumers.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Productivity, Costs, Incentives,

Unit 5: Lesson 24 - Government and the Environment
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine and discuss visuals to identify an economic mystery regarding the failure of the Endangered Species Act. They are introduced to the concepts of market failure and government failure. Using the Guide to Economic Reasoning, they focus on positive and negative externalities in analyzing the Endangered Species Act as an example of government failure.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Economic system, Externalities, Future consequences, Government failure, Incentives, Market failure, Opportunity cost, Voluntary trade

Lesson 8 - Who Invented Bad Breath and Why?
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a class discussion about how incentives matter in school. In small groups they examine an ad from the 1920s. After reading more about 1920s life, students examine current advertisements that appeal to incentives similar to those appealed to in the 1920s.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Advertising, Choice

Lesson 3 - Using Economic Reasoning To Solve Mysteries
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Students ponder an economic mystery: Why do professional athletes, many of whom never finish college, earn far higher salaries than people who perform worthy services such as teachers and firefighters? The students discuss various explanations for this seemingly nonsensical inequity and then examine a set of clues and the principles of economic reasoning to help them arrive at a solution for the...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Economic reasoning, Incentives, Opportunity cost

Unit 4: Lesson 20 - Why Helping Yourself Helps Others
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine and discuss visuals to identify an economic mystery regarding greed and self-interest. They use economic reasoning to analyze the mystery and reach a tentative explanation.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Competition, Economic system, Future consequences, Incentives, Market economy, Opportunity cost, Voluntary trade

Unit 3: Lesson 15 - Why Do Some People Earn More Than Others?
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine and discuss visuals to identify an economic mystery regarding differences in income. They use the Guide to Economic Reasoning to analyze the problem and reach a tentative solution.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Economic system, Future consequences, Human capital, Incentives, Opportunity cost, Voluntary trade

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 3: Lesson 13 - My Human Capital: A Job Application
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Following a study of two realistic dilemmas, students complete a resume and assess their own qualifications for actual jobs.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Benefit, Cost, Disincentive, Human capital, Incentive,

Lesson 6 - Why Don't Cowboys Ever Ride into the Sunset?
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students listen to an old Western tune and participate in a class discussion about cowboy life. They read a primary-source description about cowboy life. They work in small groups to examine why cowboys are still popular.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Benefits, Costs, Incentives, Property rights

Unit 7: Lesson 6 - We Shall Not Be Moved
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students read the lyrics to a union song. They examine statistics on union membership as a percentage of the labor force and then use economic reasoning to study why union membership increased in 1935.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Incentives, Rules of the economic system,

Unit 8: Lesson 2 - Why Live in "Sin City" If You Are Not a Sinner?
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students discuss their current knowledge of Las Vegas, read a case study, and use the Handy Dandy Guide to evaluate clues about the growth of Las Vegas.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Migration, Incentives, Costs,

Unit 5: Lesson 14 - Buying Environmental Quality at Discount Prices
Economics and the Environment
Students play the role of company representatives and regulators in an attempt to reduce emissions of HW700 (a fictitious pollutant) in the least-costly manner possible.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Markets, Supply, Demand, Economic Incentives, Cost Effectiveness, Emission Charges, Tradable Permits,

Unit 4: Lesson 1 - Understanding the Colonial Economy
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students examine data on visuals to gain an overview of the colonial economy. Next, they read and discuss a handout to gain a fuller picture. The lesson concludes with several applications presented in an activity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Trade, Market, Specialization, Choice,

Lesson 12 - Gift Giving in America: Why Do You Give the People You Love Things They Hate? Or Do You Care Enough to Send the Very Best?
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students engage in reading assignments and class discussions that study examples of gift-giving behavior and how it has changed historically to gain insight into the effect of economic changes on social behavior.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Exchange, Incentives, Cost

Lesson 9 - Prohibition Then; MADD Today
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students read short histories of Prohibition and MADD and work in small groups to evaluate the consequences of these policies on consumers' behavior.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Costs/benefits, Incentives, Externalities (social consequences)

Unit 2: Lesson 12 - How Do Prices Influence My Behavior? Price Elasticity
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students review consumer and producer behavior in light of changing prices. They predict consumers' and producers' responses to changes in prices, product characteristics, costs of production, time and technology factors.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Incentives, Price, Price elasticity, Substitutes

ONLINE LESSONS:

online Why cities provide tax breaks even when they are strapped for revenue
Like the state and federal government, local governments offer tax incentives to businesses to help solve economic and/or environmental problems. In this lesson students will explore the web sites of three different cities and determine what incentives are offered and what problems they are trying to solve. They will also be asked to determine if the benefits gained from the incentives off...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Externalities,Incentive,Role of Government,Taxation,Communities and Cities

online Buying vs. Renting
Have you given any thought to where you will live when you are "on your own" - out in the world earning a living? You will have many decisions to make as you look for a place to call home. In this lesson, your basic economic decision making skills will be used to weigh the pros and cons of home ownership, and to analyze housing options. It's time to find out what is right for YOU.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget,Consumers,Decision Making,Housing,Incentive,Income,Mortgage

online It's a Matter of Power
Students examine tradeoffs and profit- maximization decisions in the case study of Kaiser Aluminum, which decided to shut down aluminum production in favor of reselling electricity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Incentive,Opportunity Cost,Profit Motive,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

online Satisfaction Please! (Part 1)
Even the savviest consumer has a problem with a good or service on occasion. It is a consumer’s right to complain when there is a genuine problem. In some situations, it is also a consumer’s responsibility. A problem can’t be fixed if no one knows it exists. In this series of three lessons, students learn how to effectively seek redress for a consumer problem. In the first lesson...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Consumer Economics,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Incentive,Opportunity Cost

online Your Credit Card
Students will compare credit cards by looking at the amount of interest they will incur when paying off the balance on their purchases. Students will discuss times when they will need to use a credit card, rewards programs, and disadvantages of the use of plastic.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Decision Making,Incentive,Costs,Credit Card,Finance Charge

online The Economics of Pro Sports: Why are the Cowboys and Yankees so Valuable?
This lesson investigates the value of sports franchises in the various professional sports leagues. Students will investigate the revenues and costs of pro sports teams and determine which teams are the most valuable. Lastly, students will understand the specific rules of the game that leagues employ that influence franchise values.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentive,Costs,Profit,Debt,Revenue

online Behavioral Economics Lesson Five: Other Things Matter
COMPELLING QUESTION Under what circumstances do people not behave like rational Econs? Students will participate in a version of the classic behavioral economics experiment entitled the Ultimatum Game. The class will be divided in halves, with one half being the proposers and the other half being the responders. Each proposer will be given the choice of how to split a reward of 10 items with the...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Decision Making,Incentive,Productivity,Wage

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

online Chevy Volt... It's Electric!
The costs and benefits of owning an electric or hybrid car will be evaluated in this lesson. By reading and researching the history of the production of electric cars, the lesson allows students to understand how this market has developed. Specifically, the evaluation will focus on the Chevy Volt and its attempt to compete in a constantly evolving market of automobiles. Through this lesson, studen...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Competition,Incentive,Price,Quantity Demanded,Quantity Supplied,Costs,Costs of Production,Operating Costs

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