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Virtual Economics

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Lesson 16 - What We've Learned
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
This lesson features a game in which the students review key vocabulary words and concepts presented in earlier lessons. The game is called Flyswatter Review. The teacher divides the class into two teams. Using transparencies, the teacher projects financial terms from the visuals onto a screen or wall. The teams compete to select the correct definition.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Stock Market, Stock, Mutual Fund, Risk, Liquidity, Liquidity Risk

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

Unit 2: Lesson 4 - How Can I Make Decisions About My Future?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In the mid-1700s thousands of Europeans traveled to North America seeking adventure, freedom, and economic opportunity. The risk of deciding to travel across the Atlantic Ocean in a wooden ship was great, but the potential rewards were even greater.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Alternative, Benefit, Choice, Cost, Emigrate, Immigrate, Indenture, Primogeniture, Risk,

Theme 3: Lesson 9 - Stocks and Mutual Funds
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, the student examine the nature of stocks including how stocks are issued, differences in their levels of risk, and the differences in possible returns. The students also compare and contrast stocks with various savings plans provided by financial institutions. The nature of mutual funds, which allows diversification and reduction of risk, will also be covered.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Equity, Stocks, Mutual funds, Risk, Diversification, Stock market

Theme 3: Lesson 11 - Saving and Investing Are Risky Business
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, the students learn that savings and investment instruments carry various types of risk. Students learn about the risks of inflation, interest rate fluctuation, and financial loss. With any type of investment, there is at least one kind of risk. They also learn that risk must be measured against reward.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Opportunity cost, Inflation risk, Interest rate risk, Risk of financial loss, Savings account, Certificate of deposit, Money market deposit account, U.S. Savings Bond,

Lesson 7 - What Are Mutual Funds?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students form class investment clubs that work much in the way mutual funds do. They invest $3,000 (300 shares at $10 a share) in up to six stocks. One year later they revalue their shares and determine whether a share in their class investment clubs has increased or decreased in value. Finally, they read about mutual funds and learn that the concept behind mutual funds is similar to the conce...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Diversification, Liquidity, Load, Mutual fund, Net asset value, Risk and reward

Lesson 2 - Investors and Investments
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
In this lesson the students explore different types of investments, some of which are unconventional, in order to grasp the basic idea that investment involves trading off present benefits for future satisfaction. The students also apply the criteria of risk, return and liquidity to define more precisely the meaning of investing.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Investing, Investment, Liquidity, Return, Risk

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 23 - Investing Involves Decision Making
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
This lesson provides an overall review and an opportunity for students to apply many of the concepts stressed in earlier lessons. The students examine different sorts of risk that come with investments. They are introduced to a fivestep decision-making model. After practicing with it, they apply the model in a simulation activity in which they act as financial advisors, offering financial advice i...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Bonds, Capital gain, Certificate of deposit, Dividend, Diversification, Liquidity, Money market account, Mutual funds, Principal, Rate of return, Risk, Savings account, Stocks

Unit 2: Lesson 10 - Choices Make a Difference: Worker Interviews
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work- Grades 7-8 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students interview adults about their work and consumer choices.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: choices, decision making

Lesson 15 - How Private Efforts Can Improve Environmental Quality
Economics and the Environment: Ecodetectives
The students examine case studies showing how various uses of private property affect environmental quality. They analyze these cases in order to identify conditions under which private property ownership and the profit motive create incentives for environmental protection.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Benefits, Costs, Incentives, Private property, Profits, Voluntary exchange

Unit 3: Lesson 7 - Can I Produce Something People Want?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students use common objects to produce goods they think people will use to satisfy wants. They read a biography of inventor George Washington Carver, learning how Carver helped tenant farmers in the South improve the soil and how he invented many products that could be produced using peanuts.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Derived demand, Goobers, Goods and services, Human capital, Invention, Inventor, Natural resources, Physical capital, Productive resources, Sharecropper, Tenant farmer, Wants,

Lesson 15: Board of Directors and Corporate Officers
The International News Journal, Inc.
In this lesson the board of directors meets with the corporate officers to help make production decisions. The board also helps the officers choose the kind of news journal, estimate the cost of producton, determine the price and quantity of news journals to produce, and decide on the number and price of share of stock. Students observe and learn from the decision making, complete and activity s...
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Demand, Market, Price, Profit, Stock, Supply

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 14: Organizing The Corporation
The International News Journal, Inc.
In this lesson students (entrepreneurs) decide who the officers of the corporation will be and who will be invited to bo on the board of directors.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Corporation, Entrepreneur

Lesson 16: Selling Stock
The International News Journal, Inc.
Students review the concept of stock issued by a corporation and learn how to be good salespeople by role playing a sales speech. They discuss the steps for selling stock.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Corporaton, Dividend, Stock

Chapter 3: Lesson 17 - How the People of Churchill Came to Be Fond of Polar Bears
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: Incentives, 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

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 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

ONLINE LESSONS:

online I Can Be an Entrepreneur
Learners are given advice on how they can earn extra money by becoming an entrepreneur. After investigating several web pages that offer examples of what other people their age have done to earn money, students identify three money-making ideas for themselves such as: considering what they would enjoy doing, what they do well, what people are willing to buy, the need to set a price that will be pr...
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Accounting Profit,Advertising,Business,Entrepreneurship,Goods,Price,Production,Costs,Entrepreneur,Profit,Risk,Services,Accounting Loss

online Collecting for Fun . . . and Profit?
Art, baseball cards, coins, comic books, dolls, jewelry and stamps are just a few examples of the many things people collect. While some people collect for fun — others hope to profit. In this lesson, students explore how supply and demand influence the price of collectibles. They also evaluate speculation in collectibles as an investment option. They learn that collectibles are one ...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Investing,Price,Supply,Investment,Risk

online From Butterflies to Buffaloes
Nature tourism, also known as ecotourism, is a fast growing segment of the tourism industry. In this lesson, students learn what ecotourism is and explore how conservation of our natural resources can be profitable.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Markets,Natural Resources,Producers,Profit Motive

online Case Study on Productivity (1 of 3): Henry Ford and the Model T
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 transportation...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Division of Labor,Factors of Production,Production,Productive Resources,Specialization,Entrepreneur,Labor,Productivity,Resources,Innovation

online NOT your Grandma's Lemonade Stand
After a review of elementary economic concepts, students will apply their understanding by playing an online computer game, Lemonade Stand. This game has the students competing against themselves and others to earn the biggest profit in 25 days time (approximately 15 minutes computer time). "Daily" economic advice helps students find out where they fail in understanding the deman...
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Choice,Consumers,Demand,Price,Producers,Scarcity,Supply

online Let's Find a Deal - How the Crusades Led to the Finding of the New World
The lesson will help students to discover the importance of the Crusades to the expansion of many European countries. Students will also be introduced to new products and find out why explorers were willing to risk all to locate new routes in order to reach these products quickly and cheaply.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Choice,Demand,Markets,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity,Supply

online All In Business
This is the third in a series of lessons on entrepreneurship. "Entreduction" and "Improving on the Original" help students understand what innovations are, and what it takes to get an idea off the ground. This lesson will take students through the process of calculating risks associated with starting a new business -- the decisions and choices they'd have to make and how to...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Choice,Decision Making,Entrepreneurship,Incentive

online Market-Ability
Marketplace, a daily economics news program heard on National Public Radio, featured a story on January 8, 2002, titled "Microsoft Invades the Kitchen." In this segment, reporter Aaron Schachter describes consumers' enthusiasm, or lack thereof, for two new Microsoft products and explores the concept that the process of innovation and consumer response has in ongoing market develo...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Markets,Technological Changes

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 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

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