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Virtual Economics

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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

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 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,

Section 6: The Basics of a Market Economy
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will identify the characteristics of people who build wealth. Participants will recognize the primary features of a market economy including voluntary exchange, private ownership, a price system, the profit motive, competition, and financial institutions.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Choice, Opportunity cost, Banking, Deposits, Withdrawals, Saving, Spending, Money,

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

Section 5: Strategies for Wealth Building
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will understand the concept of net wealth and how the decisions they make can cause their own net wealth to increase or decrease. Participants will explain why an early start in saving and investing increases a household's ability to build its wealth. Participants will understand that buying and holding financial assets leads to a greater long-term net wealth than frequent trading o...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic wants, Choices, Opportunity cost, Money, Spending, Saving, Savings accounts, Banks, Deposits, Withdrawals,

Section 3: Managing Credit
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will identify the advantages and disadvantages of using credit. Participants will recognize what credit is, what it costs, and the basic steps involved in obtaining credit. Participants will identify the key features of a credit report and credit scoring. Participants will examine ways to improve their credit scores. Participants will make distinctions between debit cards and cred...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money, Economic wants, Coins, Paper money, The value of money, Functions of money, Choices, Work skills (human capital)

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

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 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

Section 4: A Roof Over Your Head
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will understand the benefits and drawbacks of homeownership. Participants will understand the process of buying a home, from before house-hunting to closing and occupancy. Participants will understand the risks of speculating with money being saved toward a down payment and the risks presented by refinancing with predatory lenders.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Alternatives, Benefits, Costs, Choice, Decisions, Opportunity cost, Spending, Saving

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 4: Lesson 2 - The Costs and Benefits of Independence
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
This lesson begins with discussion of an economic mystery. Students read and discuss information in a handout to solve a mystery.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Trade, Taxation, Costs, Benefits,

Lesson 9: Profit Mathematics
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 9-12
Most businesses in a market economy try to maximize profits. Economic profits are the difference between total revenue (the value of total sales for the business) and total cost (how much it costs the business to produce its goods or services). When total revenue exceeds total cost, then firms have earned a profit. Breakeven is said to occur when total revenue and total cost are equal. An economic...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Total profit, Total revenue, Total cost, Profit, Price, Quantity, Marginal revenue, Marginal cost,

Unit 4: Lesson 23 - Make a Profit: Do the Math
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Working as consultant teams, students use basic math to compute fixed costs, total costs, marginal costs, total revenues, marginal revenues, and profits (or losses) for a business. They determine the profit-maximizing quantity of output for the business, and analyze their results in terms of marginal revenues and marginal costs.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentive, Marginal analysis, Marginal cost, Marginal revenue, Profit, Total cost, Total revenue

Unit 1: Lesson 5 - Rules Influence Economic Behavior
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
The lesson begins with a demonstration of how rules and incentives influence students' behavior in the classroom. Then students apply the same analysis to behavior in the larger economy. (WARNING: Given the unusual grading procedure specified in Procedure 5, this lesson may be hazardous to teacher's health.)
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choices, Incentives, Interdependence

Unit 1: Lesson 2 - Choosing Among Alternatives
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Benefits and costs are defined and students use benefit/cost analysis to arrive at a group decision.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Benefit analysis, Cost analysis, Benefits, Costs,

Unit 1: Lesson 4 - To Choose or Not to Choose? That Is Not the Question
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students make a decision after identifying the alternatives and their anticipated costs and benefits.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Alternatives, Choices, Economizing behavior, Scarcity

Unit 2: Lesson 9 - What Employers Want
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In a job interview role-playing activity, students learn about criteria employers use in deciding to hire employees.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Transferable skills, Benefit, Cost, Productivity,

Unit 6: Lesson 5 - Improving Transportation
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
By examining economic mysteries and statistics, students learn how improvements in transportation reduced the costs of making goods available to consumers.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Productivity, Costs, Incentives,

ONLINE LESSONS:

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 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 New Sense, Inc. vs. Fish 'Till U Drop or Coase Vs. Pigou
Hot debate and arguments galore whirl around this question: "Which economic approach is the most efficient and fair to resolve utility issues surrounding the use of common or public property?" This lesson will explore, examine and analyze this perplexing question by engaging in an open-ended role play simulation.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Externalities,Benefit,Costs,Property Rights,Public Goods,Transaction Costs,Monopolies

online The South's Decision to Secede: A Violation of Self Interest?
Essential Dilemma Your students will consider the following questions: In deciding to secede from the Union in 1861, did the South violate its own self-interest and thus disprove the basic economic principle that people seek to further their self-interest in the decisions they make? To get at the question, each student will assume the role of an ardent secessionist. Acting in this role, the stude...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Costs,Resources

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 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 Budget Odyssey
Students will begin the Budget Odyssey driving a minibus to Budget Balancing Bliss via a board game. Students will answer questions about income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses. Once the student reaches the end of the board game the player will be presented with a spreadsheet upon which they will calculate their net gain or loss.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Decision making, Choices, Budget, Income, Budget surplus/analysis

online Satisfaction Please! (Part 1)
Even the savviest consumer has a problem with a good or service on occasion. It is a consumer’s right to complain when there is a genuine problem. In some situations, it is also a consumer’s responsibility. A problem can’t be fixed if no one knows it exists. In this series of three lessons, students learn how to effectively seek redress for a consumer problem. In the first lesson...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Consumer Economics,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Incentive,Opportunity Cost

online The Five Stages of Investing
The practice of saving and investing is definitely a good thing, but there are many ways to save and invest. In thinking about the options, it is important to consider the degree of risk involved and the potential for return. Typically, the higher the risk, the higher the potential return. The key is to work up to the riskier investments, where you stand to earn the most money, but only after you...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Economic Security,Investing,Money Management,Benefit,Money

online College: Where am I going to go?
Students will use a PACED decision making grid to help them decide where they would like to attend college.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Decision Making,Opportunity Cost

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