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Virtual Economics

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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 6: Lesson 3 - Lowell Workers and Producers Respond to Incentives
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
This lesson includes class discussion of a handout on the Boston Manufacturing Company and the examination of primary source materials taken from the contemporary writings of female workers in textile mills.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Division of labor, Productivity, Income, Increased supply, Competition,

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,

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,

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 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 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

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 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

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

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 18: Entrepreneurs Choose Different Types of Business Organization
Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Economy: Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson, students will identify characteristics of the following forms of business organization: sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation; compare forms of business organization to decide which is most appropriate for a given set of circumstances; evaluate relative advantages of starting a new business, buying an existing business, or purchasing a franchise; decide the form of busi...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Sole proprietorship, Collateral, Unlimited liability, Partnership, Corporation, Stock, Limited liability, Franchise

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

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,

Theme 4: Lesson 17 - Shopping for an Auto Loan
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
Consumers must shop for credit just as they do for a car or a computer. In this lesson, students learn the skills they need to shop for credit by filling out a credit comparison chart for a hypothetical loan. Then, using the same techniques, they shop online for a loan. Finally, students compare the cost of the same loan at local lending institutions.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Credit, Decision making

Lesson 10 - Consumer Credit: Buy Now, Pay Later, and More
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Through group activity, students analyze the costs and benefits of using credit cards to purchase goods and services.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Credit, Consumer credit, Decision making, Opportunity cost, Interest,

Lesson 4 - What Is a Stock?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students work in small groups that represent households. Each household answers mathematics and economics questions. 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 Economics and Mathematics Knowledge Company. They also receive dividends based on their ...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Dividend, Income, Saving, Stocks, Stockholders

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,

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 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 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 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 Balancing the Federal Budget
ESSENTIAL DILEMMA When, if ever, should the nation prioritize balancing the federal budget?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget,Gross Domestic Product (GDP),Surplus,Trade-off,Investment,Debt,Expenses,Revenue

online How Will I Pay for College?
In this lesson, students will learn about current trends in student borrowing and determine a reasonable debt load for hypothetical students. College costs have escalated over the past two decades, and more and more students are relying on student loans to cover the costs.  Therefore, it is more important than ever to carefully consider the costs of college, your anticipated career income, an...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Borrower,Interest,Debt,Borrow,Expenses,Human Capital Investment,Principal

online The Economics of Homebuying
This lesson provides an overview of the basics of buying a home for the first time. Your students may make this decision sooner than they think. Although buying a home is the largest financial decision most people make, two-thirds of American adults do buy a home. In this lesson, students examine programs that make first-time home-buying more affordable. Then they examine over time several economi...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Housing,Interest Rate,Mortgage,Opportunity Cost,Trade-off

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 The Panic of 1893 and the Election of 1896
ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Were the contradictory responses political leaders had to the panic of 1893 driven more by economic/political self-interest or by differing visions of what kind of country they wanted the United States to be?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget,Budget Deficit,Gross Domestic Product (GDP),Human Capital,Debt,Depression

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 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 Political Beliefs and the Federal Budget
ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Should political philosophy influence how we view the federal budget?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget,Budget Deficit,Debt,Government Spending

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