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Virtual Economics

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Theme 4: Lesson 11 - What Is Credit?
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
Credit decisions are among the most important choices that young people will make. This lesson provides an overview of what credit is and some of the advantages and disadvantages of using credit. Students examine various types of loans including home mortgages, car loans, college loans, personal loans, and credit card loans.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Credit, Risk, Interest

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 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 6: Lesson 16 - The Extinction of Chickens and Mosquitoes-- Not!
Economics and the Environment
The nature of biological growth is demonstrated with basic growth curves. These are used to show the incentive resource owners have to not harvest their resource too quickly and to maintain the size of their resource stock.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Renewable Resources, Common Property Resources, Economic Incentives,

Unit 5: Lesson 1 - Problems Under the Articles of Confederation
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
This lesson begins with discussion of the economic problems facing the new nation. Students read and discuss information in a handout; then they make predictions abo9ut effects on economic growth.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Debt, Tax, Tariff, Trade, Currency,

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 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 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 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 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 5: Lesson 4 - Entrepreneurship Case Study: Adam Smith
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students use statements from The Wealth of Nations as primary sources. They discuss distinctions between mercantilist economies and market economies.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Mercantilism, Market, Incentives, Trade, Specialization,

Lesson 10: Distribution of Income: Different Ways to Slice the Pie
From Plan to Market: Teaching Ideas for Social Studies, Economics, and Business Classes
In this lesson, students investigate some of the advantages and disadvantages of market and command economic systems by participating in a simulation and reading about the experiences of people living in Ukraine in 1997. The pains of transition are evident, as in the hope of many for a better future when the transition to a market system is complete.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Economic Systems, Income Distribution, Productivity

Unit 2: Lesson 1 - Free A Grades: The Consequences of Changing Allocation Systems
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students are given three different allocation plans to distribute more A grades in the class. They analyze each plan, identify the relative costs and benefits, and predict how implementation of each plan might change individual student behavior.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Opportunity cost, Incentives, Choices, Allocations,

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

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 2: Lesson 6 - Why Did Communism Collapse?
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine and discuss visuals to solve an economic mystery regarding the command system of the Soviet Union.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Command economy, Economic systems, Market economy, Incentives

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: How Entrepreneurs Use Credit
Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Economy: Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson, students will distinguish between consumer credit and commercial credit; give examples of ways entrepreneurs may use credit as a marketing tool; compare the costs and benefits of the different practices entrepreneurs use for extending credit to their customers; compare the costs and benefits of various types of commercial credit available to entrepreneurs for financing their busine...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Consumer credit, Commercial credit

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 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

ONLINE LESSONS:

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

online The Economics of Pro Sports: Why are the Cowboys and Yankees so Valuable?
This lesson investigates the value of sports franchises in the various professional sports leagues. Students will investigate the revenues and costs of pro sports teams and determine which teams are the most valuable. Lastly, students will understand the specific rules of the game that leagues employ that influence franchise values.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentive,Costs,Profit,Debt,Revenue

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 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 Taxation and the National Debt
ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Is there a fair and efficient way to fund and maintain the public services we want?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget,Budget Deficit,Incentive,Taxation,Costs,Investment,Debt,Utility,Capital Gain,Revenue

online Pop Goes the Housing Bubble
In this lesson, students will learn about a speculative bubble within the context of the U.S. real estate market.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Credit,Decision Making,Incentive,Investment,Risk,Debt,Borrow,Asset,Collateral,Lender,Real Estate

online Jokes, Quotations, and Cartoons in Economics
Students will apply their knowledge of economics to the analysis and interpretation of jokes, quotations, and cartoons in economics. Students will watch a Paul Solman video of an interview of Yoram Bauman, the Stand up Economist. Students will use Daryl Cagel's cartoon website, Jokes on the Web, and news media to find economics humor and interpret.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget Deficit,Business,Central Banking System,Credit,Gross Domestic Product (GDP),Incentive,Role of Government,Stock Market,Labor,Unemployment,Recession,Spend

online Trish and Scott's Big Adventure: An Investigation of Regional Housing Costs
This lesson has students explore differences in regional housing costs, determine the percentage of gross income spent on housing, assess the impact of housing costs on a relocation decision and recognize wages and housing costs are prices.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Federal Reserve Structure,Housing,Incentive,Income,Mortgage,Price,Federal Reserve

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 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

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