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Virtual Economics

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Section 4: A Roof Over Your Head
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will understand the benefits and drawbacks of homeownership. Participants will understand the process of buying a home, from before house-hunting to closing and occupancy. Participants will understand the risks of speculating with money being saved toward a down payment and the risks presented by refinancing with predatory lenders.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Alternatives, Benefits, Costs, Choice, Decisions, Opportunity cost, Spending, Saving

Section 5: Strategies for Wealth Building
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will understand the concept of net wealth and how the decisions they make can cause their own net wealth to increase or decrease. Participants will explain why an early start in saving and investing increases a household's ability to build its wealth. Participants will understand that buying and holding financial assets leads to a greater long-term net wealth than frequent trading o...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic wants, Choices, Opportunity cost, Money, Spending, Saving, Savings accounts, Banks, Deposits, Withdrawals,

Section 6: The Basics of a Market Economy
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will identify the characteristics of people who build wealth. Participants will recognize the primary features of a market economy including voluntary exchange, private ownership, a price system, the profit motive, competition, and financial institutions.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Choice, Opportunity cost, Banking, Deposits, Withdrawals, Saving, Spending, Money,

Unit 6: Lesson 1 - The Tale of the Corset and the Necktie
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students will view clothing worn by men and women throughout history and explain how the making of fashion choices is behavior consistent with the HDG.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Cost, Consumer, Choice, Voluntary exchange,

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

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)

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 4: Lesson 2 - The Costs and Benefits of Independence
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
This lesson begins with discussion of an economic mystery. Students read and discuss information in a handout to solve a mystery.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Trade, Taxation, Costs, Benefits,

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 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

Unit 3: Lesson 18 - Credit Management
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
This lesson is designed to help students make good consumer-credit decisions. Although using credit is beneficial at times, it often carries higher costs than many people realize. This lesson discusses the costs of credit in a manner that helps students calculate those costs and integrate them in short- and long-term decisions.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Debt, Economic wants, Income, Interest, Secured debt, Unsecured debt

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 1: Lesson 4 - To Choose or Not to Choose? That Is Not the Question
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students make a decision after identifying the alternatives and their anticipated costs and benefits.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Alternatives, Choices, Economizing behavior, Scarcity

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 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

Unit 1: Lesson 1 - Making Choices
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students are introduced to the nature of choice making by confronting thorny problems individually and in groups.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Alternative, Choice, Opportunity cost, Scarcity, Value

Unit 3: Lesson 17 - Creating and Using a Budget
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
This lesson focuses on using budgeting to maximize consumer satisfaction. It describes a flexible view of budgets, linking them to markets and market information, and demonstrates how and why budgets should be reviewed and modified often.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget, Choice, Diminishing marginal utility, Income, Marginal analysis, Price, Substitute, Utility

Lesson 14 - Why Have Americans Climbed So Many Mountains?
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a class discussion about the costs and benefits of climbing mountains. They work in small groups to analyze the costs and benefits in one of four expeditions.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Costs, Benefits, Incentives

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

ONLINE LESSONS:

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 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 My Credit Rating: Why Should I Care?
Credit is a wonderful tool for the consumer. It can enhance your quality of life. It enables you to buy and enjoy a purchase before you have the money to pay for it. On the other hand, it can create serious problems for people who use it incorrectly.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital Resources,Consumers,Credit,Decision Making

online The Credit Card Mystery
Credit Cards are a risky business these days, especially for students and those holding multiple cards. Interest rates on credit card balances have always been high relative to other rates, for several reasons. Despite this, there is still a demand for the "plastic money" that many people see as convenient and ideal with the increasingly technological world economy. This lesson explores ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Consumers,Credit,Interest Rate,Benefit,Costs,Interest

online Opportunity Cost
Consumers are faced with tough choices because so many innovative and exciting products and services are available. Therefore, engraining a decision-making process that includes considering of opportunity cost is necessary to shape future consumer behavior.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget,Choice,Consumers,Decision Making,Interest Rate,Investing,Opportunity Cost,Saving,Benefit,Costs,Interest,Money,Wants,Savings,Save,Savers

online National Parks: Only You Can Prevent the Coming Crisis
What do you think of when you think of the National Parks System? Do you think of the majesty of the Grand Canyon and the redwoods of Northern California? Or does the serenity of Cape Cod and the Everglades come to mind?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Consumers,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Demand,Incentive,Natural Resources,Role of Government,Supply,Substitute Good

online Owning a Car
Using a Better Money Habits video, this lesson introduces students to the various costs associated with buying and operating a car, including monthly payments, gasoline, insurance, and maintenance.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Decision Making,Interest,Comparison Shopping,Insurance

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 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

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