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Virtual Economics

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Theme 3: Lesson 9 - There Is No Free Lunch in Investing
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
Risk is inherent in all investments. In investing, there are risks you cannot control. However, other risks can be controlled. The key is to develop a risk-reward ratio with which you are comfortable. The higher the risk, the greater the potential reward. This is why there is no free lunch in investing. In this lesson, students learn about five types of risk and then compare the risks and re...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money management, Real vs. Nominal, Risk, Investing, Savers, Saving, Investment

Section 2: Financial Institutions
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants identify the advantages and disadvantages of using financial services from alternative financial institutions and services from mainstream banks. Participants identify the services provided by mainstream financial institutions including banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, and so forth. Participants identify insurance (including homeowner's, renter's, health, and auto insurance) ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic wants, Goods, Services, Entrepreneurs, Productive resources (natural capital and human resources), Work skills (human capital), Income

Unit 3: Lesson 19 - Earning an Income
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine the concept of income. They identify factors that generate in come, including entrepreneurial traits and changing conditions in labor markets. In learning how income is generated, students plan and make choices to enhance their own income-generating capacity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital, Entrepreneurship, Human capital, Income, Labor, Land, Profit

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 3 - Invest in Yourself
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
To explore the concept that people invest in themselves through education, the students work in two groups and participate in a mathematics game. Both groups are assigned mathematics problems to solve. One group is told about a special technique for solving the problems. The other group is not. The game helps the students recognize that improved human capital allows people to produce more in the s...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Human capital, Income, Investment in human capital, Opportunity cost

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

Lesson 15 - What Can Yesterday's Choices Tell Us about Tomorrow?
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students work in small groups to write brief speeches. Panelists present those speeches and then respond to questions from a student audience.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Choice, Benefits and costs, Risk

Lesson 1 - Why Insurance and How Does It Work?
Virtual Economics: Insurance Lessons
This lesson uses readings and group work to describe the risks that are a part of everyone's life. It then elaborates on five ways to handle risk. Two of these ways are to share and transfer risk, which is the purpose of insurance.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Avoiding risk, Decision making, Insurance, Opportunity cost, Premium, Probability, Reducing risk, Retaining risk, Risk, Sharing risk, Transferring risk,

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

Section 1: Income and Choices
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will understand the importance of spending less than they receive. Participants will understand how competition based on productivity determines the wages and salaries that people receive. Participants will analyze a list of expenditures and make recommendations on how to begin a budget.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Income, Gift money, Work skills (human capital), workers (producers),

Lesson 4 - Why Renter's Insurance?
Virtual Economics: Insurance Lessons
This lesson focuses on a question that many of your students will face in college and/or in their first job as they live in apartments: Should they buy renter's insurance? Many students do not know what renter's insurance covers or even that it is available.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Cash-value coverage, Deductible, Depreciation, Landlord, Liability, Renter's insurance, Replacement-cost coverage, Tenant,

Lesson 10: Rich Man, Poor Man...
Focus: High School Economics
The issue of income distribution has been controversial throughout history. Decisions about the distribution of income are made by individuals and firms making exchanges in the markets for productive resources (inputs), and also through the political process. Public policies, such as taxation and transfer payments, are often targeted at particular income groups to redistribute income. Some of t...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Income, Transfer payments, Personal distribution of income, Functional distribution of income, Proprietors' income, Corporate profits,

Lesson 9: Learn More, Earn More
Focus: High School Economics
Human capital refers to the knowledge, skills, and experience that people bring to the workplace. With education and training, people increase their human capital and improve their productivity, which usually allows them to increase their income.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Human capital, Income, Standard of living,

Unit 4: Lesson 9 - Weighing the Pluses and the Minuses: Benefit-Cost Analysis
Economics and the Environment
By analyzing a decision that may be very familiar to them -- studying versus playing a game -- students are introduced to the idea of weighing benefits and costs. The concepts are then applied to a case study of a typical environmental problem: emissions control.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Allocative Efficiency, Benefits, Costs, Net Value, Present Value, Benefit-Cost Analysis,

Lesson 4 - Uncle Sam's Checkbook
Old MacDonald to Uncle Sam: Lesson Plans from Writers around the World
Students learn about the components of federal income taxes and expenditures. They also create and analyze political cartoons relevant to federal taxes and expenditures.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Income, Tax, Federal tax revenue, Payroll tax, Federal expenditures, Personal income tax,

Theme 5: Lesson 20 - Managing Your Money
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
This lesson introduces some of the basics of money management. By means of a radio call-in show script, students learn about setting up a family budget and distinguishing between income and net worth. To practice making budgeting decisions, the students make spending recommendations for a young family.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget, Income

Theme 5: Lesson 22 - Managing Risk: The Good News About Insurance
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
As people begin to acquire assets and an income, they begin to think about how to protect what they have from loss. Toward this end, many people buy insurance. This lesson tells how insurance works and provides an overview of the different types of insurance. Students participate in a simulation that allows them to practice their understanding of the costs and benefits associated with purchasin...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Risk, Insurance

Lesson 6 - Financial Planning: Budgeting Your Financial Resources
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a motivational activity in which they evaluate the costs and benefits of impulse buying and its effect on living on a limited income. After they analyze a sample budget, students develop their own budget that might be appropriate upon leaving school.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Opportunity cost, Income, Purchasing power, Fixed expenses, Variable expenses, Impulse buying,

Lesson 14 - Savings and Personal Investments: If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students view a transparency showing the difference between economics definitions and personal finance definitions of the terms capital and investment. They read and discuss a handout listing four basic rules for wise investment decisions.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital, Investment, Savings, Opportunity cost, Securities, Stocks, Bonds, Mutual funds, Savings accounts, Certificates of deposit, Risk versus return, Liquidity,

Lesson 12: Profits and entrepreneurship
Master Curriculum Guide: Economics and Entrepreneurship
People become entrepreneurs for many reasons, including the desire to earn a profit. A commonly used measure of profit is the difference between a firm's revenue and its costs. Such as simple definition can be misleading if it excludes considerations of alternative uses for the entrepreneur's time or money.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Total Revenue, Cost of Production, Profit, Return on Investment, Fixed Costs (Optional Activity), Variable Costs (Optional Activity),

ONLINE LESSONS:

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 Understanding and Analyzing an Income Statement
The income statement is one of the most important financial statements used in making business decisions. The income statement is an analytical tool that can be used in business and personal finance that summarizes business and personal transactions for a time period. Students must learn the components of an income statement and the ratios used to analyze a company's operations for a fiscal ti...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Entrepreneurship,Income,Profit,Taxes,Expenses,Revenue

online The Entepreneur in you?
Throughout this lesson students take note of the role of risk and incentives as factors found in all entrepreneurial pursuits. They will analyze, compare and evaluate personal characteristics of entrepreneurs. They will also develop a greater self-understanding as they determine if they have the traits found in successful entrepreneurs. Finally, students set goals, which will help them to ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Entrepreneurship,Incentive,Risk

online Business Ownership: The Franchise Option
Students explore an alternative to starting a business from scratch – investing in a franchise. They begin by considering the pros and cons of a franchise and whether this form of business is an option that would fit their personality and needs. Students then research and analyze franchise opportunities, ultimately selecting one that they think they might be able to successfully op...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Business,Choice,Decision Making,Entrepreneurship,Benefit,Costs,Legal Forms of Business,Risk

online Three Types of Business Organizations
In this lesson, students research the three basic types of business organization: sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Considering the advantages and disadvantages of each, they function as consultants offering advice on which form of business is best suited for different business scenarios. The case studies all feature real- life entrepreneurs who started businesses produ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Business,Entrepreneurship,Entrepreneur,Legal Forms of Business,Risk

online The Economics of Income: The Rich Nations Mystery
Why are some countries very wealthy and others so poor? In this lesson you will learn about the factors that contribute to a nation's standard of living.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital Resources,Entrepreneurship,Income,Natural Resources

online 'Be All You Can Be'...For Minimum Wage?
Perhaps you have seen the catchy TV ads for the various branches of the United States military. You know, the ones that tell you to "be all you can be...in the Army!." In the last decade, these advertisements have become necessary because compulsory military service (otherwise known as "the draft") no longer exists in the United States. Compulsory service, long required during ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Human Resources,Income,Opportunity Cost,Trade-off,Labor Market

online Invest in Yourself
To explore the concept that people invest in themselves through education, the students work in two groups and participate in a mathematics game. Both groups are assigned mathematics problems to solve. One group is told about a special technique for solving the problems. The other group is not. The game helps the students recognize that improved human capital allows people to produce more in a giv...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Income,Opportunity Cost,Human Capital,Investment

online What is a Stock?
The students work in small groups that represent households. Each household answers questions about stocks and stock markets. For each correct answer, a household earns shares of stock. At the end of the game, the groups that answered all questions correctly receive a certificate good for 150 shares of stock in The Stock Knowledge Company. They also receive dividends based on their shares. Those w...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Income,Saving,Capital Gain,Dividend,Mutual Fund,Stock

online Would You Demand It?
How many students would demand a cell phone that costs $3,995? That was the price of the first cell phone available to the public, the DynaTAC8000X, in 1983. By 2011, the average price of a smartphone was $135, and more people were buying cell phones. In this lesson, students will learn about demand and its determinants by examining the Internet subscription, food, and car industries.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Income,Price,Quantity Demanded,Determinants of Demand,Law of Demand

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