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Lesson 8 - Productivity
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Working in small groups, the students participate in a production simulation to determine the effects of specialization on labor productivity, the division of labor, and investment in human capital and capital goods.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investment in capital goods, Investment in human capital, Productivity, Specialization and division of labor

Lesson 9: The Distribution of Income and Investments in Human Capital
Focus: Institutions and Markets
This lesson introduces students to some key facts about the distribution of income in the United States, and provides some information and tools for analyzing changes in the distribution of income over the last three decades. Students' intuition about who earns more or less, and why, is the basis for several activities; but in some cases their intuition will likely be challenged.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investment in human capital, Factor income, Functional distribution of income, Personal distribution of income,

Unit 3: Lesson 19 - Earning an Income
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine the concept of income. They identify factors that generate in come, including entrepreneurial traits and changing conditions in labor markets. In learning how income is generated, students plan and make choices to enhance their own income-generating capacity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital, Entrepreneurship, Human capital, Income, Labor, Land, Profit

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 9: Learn More, Earn More
Focus: High School Economics
Human capital refers to the knowledge, skills, and experience that people bring to the workplace. With education and training, people increase their human capital and improve their productivity, which usually allows them to increase their income.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Human capital, Income, Standard of living,

Theme 2: Lesson 4 - Job Application Process
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
Getting a job is fundamental to achieving economic success. Most people begin their work lives working for others. While obtaining a job can be a challenge, there are widely accepted practices in business and government that make the process less difficult. This lesson provides an overview of steps for finding job openings, writing a letter of application, preparing a resume, completing an appl...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Labor, Labor market

Lesson 11 - Where Did the African-American Middle Class Come From?
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a class discussion of segregation and racism. In small groups, the students examine statistical data and formulate explanations regarding the development of an African-American middle class.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investment in human capital

Section 2: Financial Institutions
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants identify the advantages and disadvantages of using financial services from alternative financial institutions and services from mainstream banks. Participants identify the services provided by mainstream financial institutions including banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, and so forth. Participants identify insurance (including homeowner's, renter's, health, and auto insurance) ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic wants, Goods, Services, Entrepreneurs, Productive resources (natural capital and human resources), Work skills (human capital), Income

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,

Unit 2: Lesson 6 - Changing Productivity
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In a production simulation, students experience several ways of producing something; they also measure productivity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Division of labor, Human capital, Production, Productivity, Specialization,

Unit 2: Lesson 7 - Human Capital and Productivity
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In a math demonstration, students demonstrate how capital resources and improvements in human capital can increase productivity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital goods, Human capital, Productivity,

Lesson 8: Getting More or Using Less
Focus: High School Economics
Although the problem of scarcity can never be eliminated, finding ways to increase productivity can moderate it. Productivity is the amount of goods and services produced (output) per unit of productive resources used (input). Productivity can be increased by producing more goods and services with the same amount of resources, or by producing the same amount of goods and services with fewer reso...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Productivity, Specialization and division of labor, Investment in capital goods, Investment in human capital,

Lesson 11- Japan's Economic Miracle
World History: Focus on Economics
Students are introduced to a mystery about Japan's economic growth. They read a passage about economic growth and take part in a group discussion of how several facts of Japanese history are related to Japan's economic growth after World War II.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic Growth, Productivity, Capital, Human Capital, Interest Rates

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 1: Markets and the Market System
Focus: Institutions and Markets
This lesson introduces students to the primary economic institution in a market economy, markets. As described in the introductory essay to this volume, markets are an institution that emerges spontaneously from the interaction of self-interested buyers and sellers, establishing prices for goods and services that provide key incentives and signals. The first activity in this lesson stresses the ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Product markets, Factor markets, Allocative efficiency, Circular flow model, Shortage, Surplus, Market prices, Law of demand, Law of supply,

Lesson 17: Saving, Investing, and the Invisible Hand
Focus: High School Economics
This lesson explains how financial institutions in a market economy channel savings into economic investments. How much people save and how effectively those savings are transformed into good investments are directly related to a nation's economic growth. Historically, economic growth has been the primary way market systems reduce poverty and raise standards of living. Economic growth results f...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Saving, Investment, The stock market, The bond market, Primary and secondary markets for financial securities, Banks, Circular flow, The 'invisible hand',

Section 3: Managing Credit
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will identify the advantages and disadvantages of using credit. Participants will recognize what credit is, what it costs, and the basic steps involved in obtaining credit. Participants will identify the key features of a credit report and credit scoring. Participants will examine ways to improve their credit scores. Participants will make distinctions between debit cards and cred...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money, Economic wants, Coins, Paper money, The value of money, Functions of money, Choices, Work skills (human capital)

Unit 3: Lesson 2 - The Economics of Immigration
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students examine a mystery about why Swedish farmers might have come to the Unites States in 1880. They study a series of visuals about the economics of immigration. Finally, they use supply and demand analysis to explain why the king of Sweden attempted to persuade Swedish immigrants to return to Sweden.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Supply, Demand, Price,

Section 1: Income and Choices
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will understand the importance of spending less than they receive. Participants will understand how competition based on productivity determines the wages and salaries that people receive. Participants will analyze a list of expenditures and make recommendations on how to begin a budget.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Income, Gift money, Work skills (human capital), workers (producers),

Unit 7: Lesson 5 - Can Higher Prices for Agricultural Products Help the Economy?
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students will use graphs depicting supply and demand conditions in the milk market to evaluate the impact of New Deal legislation on the national economy.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Markets, Supply, Demand, Price, Subsidies,

ONLINE LESSONS:

online Why does Eli Manning Make $24 million per year?
What determines a person's salary? Why do professional athletes make so much money? People who work as firefighters, police officers or teachers are clearly more important to our society, yet they make much less money than jocks. What explains this?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Division of Labor,Human Resources,Income,Supply,Distribution of Income,Human Capital,Labor,Labor Market,Resources

online The 411 on College Education
One of the most important financial decisions people make is whether to go to college. The price tag of a college education is rising, but so are the benefits. In this lesson, students will begin by learning the relationship between level of education and the average unemployment rate; and level of education and median weekly income. Students then learn about wage premiums and investigate the vari...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Advertising,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Opportunity Cost,Human Capital,Human Capital Investment

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 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 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 Baseball Economics 201
As many baseball fans can tell you, the New York Yankees usually have a great season record, make the playoffs and make a run towards to the World Championship each year. The Yankees' success--as well as the success of other big market, high revenue teams--has led many to question whether smaller market teams can compete in Major League Baseball (MLB). In fact, in 2015, the Yankees had revenue...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Factors of Production,Incentive,Marginal Resource Product,Profit Maximization

online The Economics of the Family Farm
Learn about the status of farming as a career, investigate the management of a family farm, and examine one recent farm crisis in this lesson. You'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view some of the materials for this article.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital Resources,Demand,Factors of Production,Human Resources,Natural Resources,Supply

online Distribution of Income
Students engage in a simulation to explore how productivity influences the distribution of income and how government policy influences the redistribution of income. They calculate measures of central tendency for the entire class, their group's percentage of total classroom income, and graph the Lorenz curve as a representation of the income distribution using an online graphing tool. Students...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Redistribution of Income,Distribution of Income,Productivity,Income Inequality,Lorenz Curve,Gini Coefficient

online Capital Investments: Human v. Physical
In this lesson you will define human capital and understand why it is necessary for economic growth. Also, you will explore how people can increase their personal level of human capital.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Human Capital,Physical Capital

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

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