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Virtual Economics

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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

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

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 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

Theme 4: Lesson 12 - Cash or Credit?
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
Most students are aware of the variety of spending options available to consumers. Cash, checks, debit cards, and credit cards are often used by their parents; however, the students probably do not understand the implications of each. This lesson examines the advantages and disadvantages of various payment methods and focuses especially on credit usage. The students are challenged to calculate ...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Interest, Interest rate, Credit, Opportunity cost, Inflation

Lesson 14 - Credit: Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students do an exercise that shows how credit can be their worst enemy. They learn how quickly credit card balances can grow and how long it can take to pay off a credit-card debt. They also learn that credit can be their best friend. Working in small groups, they consider seven scenarios and decide in each case whether it would be wise for the people involved to use credit. They discuss their...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Costs and benefits, Credit, Debt, Interest, Revolving credit

Lesson 1 - Why Save?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
Following an introduction that defines saving, the students discuss the idea of "paying yourself first" and the reasons why people save. After reporting on their small-group discussions, the students simulate the accumulation of simple interest and compound interest. The lesson concludes with students calculating both simple interest and, using the Rule of 72, the amount of time it takes savings t...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Compound interest, Consumption, Income, Rule of 72, Saving, Simple interest

Lesson 11 - Financial Institutions in the U.S. Economy
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students participate in a brief trading activity to illustrate the role institutions play in bringing savers and borrowers together, thus channeling savings to investment. The students discuss financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, and they participate in a simulation activity to help them understand primary and secondary stock markets and bond markets.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Debt financing, Economic growth, Economic investment, Equity financing, Financial institutions, Financial investment, Interest, Primary markets, Secondary markets

Theme 3: Lesson 8 - Who Pays and Who Receives?
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, students learn that banks are businesses and, as such, seek to make a profit. One way banks do this is by charging borrowers a higher rate of interest than the interest that is paid to savers. Students discover that three factors affect how money grows: amount deposited, interest rate, and time. Students calculate interest--both simple and compound--and they formulate a generali...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Interest, Interest rate, Simple interest, Compound interest, Compounding, Opportunity cost, Rule of 72,

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 6 - How Much is That Bike?
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 6-8
This lesson demonstrates the utility of percentages in comparing fractions of unequal size; it also provides students with practice in using percent to calculate simple interest. Students are introduced to the idea of buying on credit and the additional resources required to service the debt. The concept of costs and benefits is examined as students compare the additional costs of borrowing money ...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Interest, Interest rate, Cost/benefit analysis, Costs, Benefit, Choice

Lesson 21 - Lessons from History: Stock Market Crashes
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students analyze information about the stock market crash of 1929 and the stock market crash of 1987. They use the information to make posters about the crashes, highlighting what happened during and after the crashes, causes of the crashes and the role of the Federal Reserve in each crash. After presenting their posters to the class, the students discuss similarities and differences between t...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Causes and effects of the stock market crash of 1929, Causes and effects of the stock market crash of 1987, Federal Reserve, Monetary policy, Supply and demand

Lesson 6 - What Is a Bond?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
In this lesson the students learn what bonds are and how bonds work. They learn the basic terminology related to bonds and participate in a simulation activity aimed at showing that bonds are certificates of indebtedness, similar to an IOU note. Finally, the students explore credit ratings and calculate average coupon rates for various bond ratings in order to determine the relationship between ra...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Bond, Bond rating, Coupon, Coupon bond, Coupon rate, Default, Face value, Maturity date, Par value, Risk, Zero-coupon bond

Lesson 3: Similarities and Differences Around The World
The International News Journal, Inc.
In this lesson students analyze the information on eight selected countries presented in Lesson 2 and discuss the similarities and differences among the countries.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Capital resources, Natural resources, goods, resources, Wants

Lesson 4: Trading Partnerships Around The World
The International News Journal, Inc.
In this lesson students use information from Lesson 3 to analyze trading relationships among the eight countries being studied. The class discusses trade, then the imports and exports of the eight countries.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Exports, Imports, International marketplace, Trade

Lesson 2: Characteristics of Countries
The International News Journal, Inc.
The primary purpose of this lesson is to help students identify resources around the world. Students examine a world political map and complete a Mystery Almanac activity sheet. They read several clues, sets of facts about selected countries, and then identify each country. The students then complete an information Resource Chart summarizing the information presented in the activity sheets.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Capital resources, Labor resources, National resources, Products, Resources, Services, Wants

Lesson 5: International Trade
The International News Journal, Inc.
In this lesson students participate in a simulation. They form groups, each group representing a country, and perform tasks to meet the wants of each country. Because resources are unevenly distributed, students must trade to satisfy their wants. A discussin follows the simulation. Students reflect on the distribution of resources in a world of relative scarcity.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Choice, Interdependence, Scarcity

Lesson 1: The Development of the International News Journal, Inc.
The International News Journal, Inc.
This lesson provides a general overview of the activities in The International News Journal, Inc. The students read a cartoon story which summarizes the program. The cartoon story is in five parts representing the actual parts of the program and the activities in which students will participate.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Choice, Corporation, International, Production, Marketplace, Resources, Trade, Wants

Chapter 3: Lesson 15 - Mariah Visits a Petting Zoo
The Great Economic Mysteries Book: A Guide to Teaching Economic Reasoning, Grades 4-8
Students describe an economic mystery and discuss various explanations of it. They use economic principles and true/false clues in reasoning out a solution to the mystery.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Profit

Chapter 3: Lesson 16 - The Big Piggy Bank Mystery
The Great Economic Mysteries Book: A Guide to Teaching Economic Reasoning, Grades 4-8
Students describe an economic mystery and discuss various explanations of it. They use economic principles and true/false clues in reasoning out a solution to the mystery.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Profit, Saving and Investing

ONLINE LESSONS:

online Climbing the Savings Mountain
Students discover how saving money can be compared to a mountain climb. The climb can be fast or slow, safe or hazardous, scenic or thrilling. You will find out that there is more than one way to get to the top!
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Banking,Inflation,Interest Rate,Borrower,Deflation,Interest,Savings,Savers

online Calculating Simple Interest
How do banks calculate the amount of interest paid on a loan? In this lesson, students will view a Livescribe Pencast to learn how to find the dollar amount in interest that is due at maturity. This lesson uses different time periods such as days, months, and years in the calculation as well as varying interest rates.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Interest Rate,Interest,Principal,Simple Interest

online Saving and Investing Blitz
The Saving and Investment Blitz engages the student in a series of timed questions that will test their understanding of saving and investment as well as their ability to perform calculations related to the time value of money.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Saving, Investing, Interest rate

online Getting and Using a Credit Card
Students will read the "Credit Counselor" guide to learn about the costs and benefits of credit cards; the C's of credit; credit history; credit application evaluation; and become familiar with some useful formulas. They will need to complete the reading in order to make the best choice from a series of credit profiles and to answer a series of questions during the simulation.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Credit, Interest rate

online Time Value of Money
Suppose your brother or sister owed you $500. Would you rather have this money repaid to you right away, in one payment, or spread out over a year in four installment payments? Would it make a difference either way?
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Interest Rate

online Debit Cards vs Credit Cards
Using a Better Money Habits video, this lesson introduces students to the advantages and disadvantages of using debit cards and credit cards.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Benefit,Costs,Interest,Credit Card,Credit Rating,Debit Card,Fraud,Late Fee

online A Penny Saved is a Penny at 4.7% Earned
There are lots of ways to receive income, and lots of ways to spend it. In this EconomicsMinute you will develop two budgets, or plans, to help you decide how to allocate your income. Assuming you do not love making dollar bill rings.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Banking,Budget,Choice,Decision Making,Income,Interest Rate,Opportunity Cost,Trade-off,Savings

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 Establishing Credit
Using two Better Money Habits videos, this lesson increases student understanding of the importance of building and maintaining good credit.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Interest Rate,Bank,Bank Account,Collateral,Credit History,Credit Limit,Credit Rating

online You're Going to College
The students will explore the costs and the benefits of going to college. They participate in a three-part game designed to help them understand the decisions associated with attending college and the benefits available to college graduates.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Economic Freedom,Opportunity Cost,Benefit,Costs,Interest

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