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Virtual Economics

PRINT LESSONS:

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 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 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

Lesson 13 - Researching Companies
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students apply an economic way of thinking to gathering information regarding securities. They learn that the cost of acquiring information must be compared to the anticipated benefit the information will provide. The students discuss the example of LeBron James and recognize that there is intense competition to find information about companies. They select companies to research by participati...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Alternatives, Choice, Fundamental analysis, Opportunity cost, Scarcity

Lesson 17 - How Financial Institutions Help Businesses Grow
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students read two case studies about the financing of businesses, contrasting modern approaches with approaches from the 1870s. Using transparencies, the students discuss the advantages of the corporate form of business organization over sole proprietorships and partnerships, while also discussing modern financial institutions that help American business firms grow.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Bond, Corporation, Federal Reserve System, Investment bank, Limited liability, Partnership, Sole proprietorship, Stock, Venture capital

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 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 5 - Reading the Financial Pages: In Print and Online
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students learn how to read and understand information presented in the financial pages of newspapers and online sources. Working in pairs, they examine entries for stocks, mutual funds and corporate bonds. They participate in a scavenger hunt for financial information, using a local newspaper. They learn how to follow stocks online.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Closing price, Dividend, Net asset value, Percentage change in fund value, Price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio), Stock symbol, Trading volume, Yield

Theme 3: Lesson 10 - Let Lenders and Borrowers Be
Financial Fitness for Life: Shaping Up Your Financial Future - Grades 6-8 - Teacher Guide
Financial intermediaries perform an important function in our economy. Financial institutions accept deposits from those who want both a safe haven for their funds and income from the use of their funds. These institutions also lend funds to people who want to borrow. Investment bankers and stockbrokers perform a similar function in that they bring together those who wish to sell equities with ...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Financial intermediaries, Interest, Opportunity cost, Institutional investors, Operating costs, Profit

Lesson 10 - The Language of Financial Markets
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students work in small groups to make flash cards to display terms commonly used in financial markets. The terms are grouped in five categories: Buying and Selling in the Market; Exchanges and Indexes; People in Financial Markets; Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds; Technical Terms. Each group of students begins by learning the terms in one category. Then the students pass their flash cards from g...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Bonds, Mutual funds, Securities indexes, Stocks

Lesson 22 - Investing Internationally: Currency Value Changes
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students examine the costs and benefits of international investing. They study the case of an investor named Lizzy who buys shares in a European mutual fund. Lizzy is surprised to learn that, while her international investment earned an excellent return in euros, she still lost money. How could that happen? Lizzie learns that the answer lies in understanding how changes in international curren...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Currency markets, Demand for currency, Diversification, Exchange rate, Supply of currency

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 8 - How to Buy and Sell Stocks and Bonds
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
In this lesson the students learn about the financial markets in which stocks and bonds are bought and sold. They read about the high transaction costs that individual investors would experience if there were no financial markets. They perform a play that illustrates how an individual stock transaction is made in an organized financial market. Finally, the students discuss the options available fo...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Bond, Broker, Dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP), Financial markets, Investor, Stocks

Lesson 9 - What Is a Stock Market?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students are introduced to the key characteristics of a market economy through a brief simulation and a discussion of several examples drawn from their own experiences. Then they learn about differences among the three major stock markets in the United States and place sample stocks in each of the three markets using this knowledge.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Characteristics of a market, Market, Primary market, Secondary market, Stock market

Lesson 32: Profits and the Annual Report
The International News Journal, Inc.
Once the news journal has been produced and sold, the success or failure of the corporation is determined. Profits or losses are calculated, a financial report is developed, and students write a letter summarizing their involvement in the corporation. The financial statement and letter for the corporation's annual report.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Annual report, Dividend, Profit, Stock

Lesson 29: Reading The News Journal for Information
The International News Journal, Inc.
In this lesson students read the news journal and take notes on important information to highlight when advertising and selling it.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Advertising, Profit

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 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 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

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

ONLINE LESSONS:

online How Global is Your Portfolio?
This engaging lesson challenges students to connect economics and geography as they investigate global companies in the stock market.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Stock Market,Savings,Economic Institutions

online Be An Ad Detective
Every day, students are bombarded by advertising. They cannot escape it. But marketers realize that many people—especially young people—are becoming very good at tuning ads out. Businesses thus are becoming more creative in their communication with consumers. In this lesson, the students assume the role of detectives searching for the new places where advertisers are promoting themselv...
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Advertising,Competition,Markets

online Did You Get the Message?
Advertising is the primary tool used by businesses to tell consumers about the goods and services they sell in the marketplace. Businesses also use advertising to try to convince consumers to buy what they are selling. Advertisements do this by pointing out how consumers will benefit if they buy a product. These benefits are called incentives. In this lesson, these two basic functions of advertisi...
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Advertising,Competition,Consumer Economics,Markets

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 Hey, Get a Job!
The second of a two-part unit on income-earning endeavors, this lesson has students choose a job or business to engage in during non-school hours. They then devise a strategy of whom to target and how to begin pursuit of their chosen endeavor.  
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Advertising,Entrepreneurship,Income

online What Does the Nation Consume?
This lesson will focus on what the nation consumes and how that is measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the United States, the goods and services produced for household consumption account for about two-thirds of total output.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Consumers,Gross Domestic Product (GDP),Goods,Intermediate Good,Stock Market,Services

online Believe it or Not?
Advertisements can tell consumers about prices and other information that may help them in the decisions they make about what to buy. But students also should know that ads are slanted by sellers to show a product in the best light. This lesson reveals to students how advertisers use words and images to make goods and services look their best. To protect consumers and make sure that competition...
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Advertising,Competition,Decision Making,Maintaining Competition,Markets,Role of Government,Regulation

online Why Adopt a Highway?
Students learn about the successful Adopt-a-Highway program and how it can save governments and taxpayers money.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Advertising,Opportunity Cost,Role of Government

online What's Your Angle?
This lesson is last in a series of lessons on entrepreneurship for 3-5. Students will learn about market research and ways to influence consumer behavior through non-price competition. They will look for ways to make their products or innovations more appealing to consumers through advertisement.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Advertising,Competition,Entrepreneurship,Inventors,Markets,Non-price Competition,Price

online Getting and Using a Credit Card
Students will read the "Credit Counselor" guide to learn about the costs and benefits of credit cards; the C's of credit; credit history; credit application evaluation; and become familiar with some useful formulas. They will need to complete the reading in order to make the best choice from a series of credit profiles and to answer a series of questions during the simulation.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Credit, Interest rate

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