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Virtual Economics

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Unit 3: Lesson 16 - Making Choices About Saving and Investing
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
This lesson introduces the distinction between savings and the investment. It demonstrates how the price of money --the interest rate--is critical to making the right savings and investment choices. It explains when, under various conditions, it is or is not in people's best interest to save.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Inflation, Interest, Investment, Loanable funds market, Purchasing power, Real interest, Savings

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 14: Borrowing decisions and expected returns
Master Curriculum Guide: Economics and Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs must possess or have access to funds to start their businesses. They may use their own funds; get others to give them funds for a share of the business and claims on future profits (equity financing); or they may borrow money from others (debt financing) with the contractual obligation to pay back the amount of money borrowed plus additional dollars called interest payments.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Interest, Interest Rates, Investment, Expected Returns,

Theme 1: Lesson 1 - How to Really Be a Millionaire
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
This lesson is designed to get students interested in personal finance. Financial planning may seem dull and laborious, but finding out how to become a millionaire is an activity that tends to stir up considerable interest. This lesson shows the students that they are unlikely to achieve wealth without self-discipline. Achieving personal wealth involves planning and making sound choices, such a...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: money management, saving, investing, compound interest

Lesson 4: Financial Systems
Focus: Institutions and Markets
Students participate in a brief simulation to demonstrate the important role financial intermediaries play in promoting investment and economic growth in market economies. Through direct instruction, students learn some specialized terms related to financial markets. Then students participate in an activity to help them identify other financial institutions in a market economy.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Saving, Investment, Financial institutions, Interest rate, Financial/personal investment, Primark market, Secondary market, Economic growth, Technological change,

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 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

Lesson 7: Why Middlemen Matter: The Role of Financial Institutions in a Market Economy
From Plan to Market: Teaching Ideas for Social Studies, Economics, and Business Classes
Students participate in a simulation and analyze two case studies emphasizing the importance of the development of financial institutions in the transition economies.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Banks, Financial Institutions, Interest Rates, Investment, Search Costs, Middlemen

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 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

Macroeconomics Unit 5: Lesson 5 - Macroeconomic Theories
Advanced Placement Economics: Teacher Resource Manual
Listening to and reading analysis of the various policy proposals can confuse students who are learning economics for the first time. Here the current issues and sources of disagreement among economists should be presented. The students should recognize that most economists hold views that cannot be cat-egorized into a particular school of thought but are a combination of different schools. Activi...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Crowding-out, Interest rates, Consumption spending, Business investments,

Unit 7: Lesson 1 - Whatdunit? The Great Depression Mystery
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students read a brief passage posing the basic question about the Great Depression: How did it happen? A brief simulation activity shows how unemployment in one part of the economy can lead to unemployment in other parts of the economy. With the aid of two visuals, the teacher discusses the reduction in the stock of money caused by bank failures from 1930 to 1933.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Recession, Depression, Demand, Income, Multiplier, Money, Fractional reserve banking, Federal reserve system,

Unit 6: Lesson 3 - The Federal Reserve System is Established
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
The teacher shows a visual that demonstrates how reserves of small, medium size and large U.S. banks were interrelated in the 19th century. The teacher distributes a handout that demonstrates how many panics spread throughout the U.S. banking system. Students use two handouts that explain how the establishment of the Federal Reserve System reduced the problems of bank failure and the money panic...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money, Fractional reserve banking, Bank reserves,

Lesson 7: Places and Production
Geography: Focus on Economics
Students calculate United States GDP and GDP per capita, use of choropleth map to acquire information, and create choropleth maps of GDP per capita in South America. They identify regions with high and low DGP per capita and suggest reasons why the well-being of people may be overestimated in countries with high GDP per capita and underestimated in countries with low GDP per capita.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Gross Domestic Product, Choropleth Map, Measure of Value, Double Counting, Final Goods and Services, Flow of Product Approach, Earnings and Cost Approach, Consumer-Spending, Investment Spending, Government Spending, Exports, Imports, Gross Domestic Product Per Capita

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,

Theme 4: Lesson 14 - All About Interest
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
In order to compare the cost of different loans, students must understand finance charges and interest rates. In this lesson, the students learn how to compute finance charges, how to differentiate between add-on and annual percentage rate and loan repayment period affect the cost of a loan.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Interest

Lesson 11: Cash or Annuity?
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 9-12
Jackpot winners of state lotteries may have the choice of receiving their winnings in the form of cash or an annuity. An annuity is a financial instrument that provides income at regular intervals over a specified time period. For example, New York's Lotto and California's SuperLotto offer an annuity with an annual payment for 26 years, and the multi-state Powerball lottery has a 25-year annuity o...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Compound interest,

Lesson 14: The Mathematics of Savings
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 9-12
Because of interest compounding, establishing a commitment to personal savings early in one's professional career can yield large long-run benefits. This lesson looks at the mathematics that underlie the computations of the future value of savings. These computations are now commonly found at many on-line financial calculators. Students will see that relatively modest savings, when compounded over...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Compound interest,

Lesson 15: The Mathematics of Credit Card Interest and Fixed Payments
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 9-12
It is common for a high school student to receive multiple invitations to enroll for a credit card. In fact, an increasing number of high school students even carry credit cards. One goal of this lesson is to try to uncover some of the mathematics that underlies the calculation of numbers that are found on a monthly credit card statement. While these calculations are done using technology, it will...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Interest,

ONLINE LESSONS:

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 The Costs of Credit
"Will that be cash, check, debit, or credit?" This lesson plan explores the difference between these. What is the difference? Is using credit the same as paying with cash? Or by check? Or by debit card? Some young people believe that using credit is the same as paying with cash. In fact, some young people believe that all you need to make purchases is a credit card. It seems as if a cred...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Credit,Decision Making,Interest Rate,Characteristics of Money

online It's a Not So Wonderful Life
In this lesson students learn about banks and banking. The study the fractional reserve system, and the role the Fed plays in the money creation process.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Banking,Central Banking System,Money Supply,Supply,Money,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 Earning Credit
Students participate in a series of activities that provide them with a simulated credit score and an auto loan interest rate based on their credit score. Then they learn to use compound interest and amortization schedules to calculate the real cost of buying a car, and they compare the total cost of buying a car for individuals with high and low credit scores. At the conclusion, students have a s...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Credit,Interest Rate,Risk,Compound Interest,Credit Report,Principal,Simple Interest

online The Early 1980s: A Tough Time For Home Builders and Mortgage Bankers
Have you ever thought of how much it might cost you to finance the purchase of a home? The home's purchase price is likely to be many times the yearly income of the typical household. If families waited until they had accumulated enough savings to use cash to pay for a home, they would be denied the benefits of homeownership for many years. Instead, most families go to a mortgage banker o...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Banking,Credit,Federal Reserve Structure,Housing,Inflation,Interest Rate,Mortgage,Deflation,Federal Reserve

online The Benefits of Investing Early
The students will see how compounding returns make investing at a young age pay off.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investing,Interest,Savers

online Timing Is Everything
In the first part of the lesson students examine the incentives and opportunity costs of spending and saving in a teacher directed lesson. The remainder of the lesson is an interactive web site. Students work through problems that demonstrate the power of compound interest.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentive,Interest Rate,Opportunity Cost,Interest,Savings

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 A Penny Saved
Students will read the comic book, "A Penny Saved" published by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Students will make the information relevant through projects, graphic organizers, teacher instruction, and problems.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Interest Rate,Saving,Compound Interest,Savings,Savings Account,Rule of 72,Required Reserves

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