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Virtual Economics

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Lesson 3: Business Organizations
Focus: Institutions and Markets
Students first look at a list of business names and discuss what the various abbreviations that are often used as part of businesses' names mean. In a reading, students learn about three types of business organizations - sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. They compare the advantages and disadvantages of each type of business organization, including problems that arise when t...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Corporations, Partnerships, Sole proprietorships, Limited liability, Principal-agent problems, Economic institutions, Economies of scale,

Lesson 17: Saving, Investing, and the Invisible Hand
Focus: High School Economics
This lesson explains how financial institutions in a market economy channel savings into economic investments. How much people save and how effectively those savings are transformed into good investments are directly related to a nation's economic growth. Historically, economic growth has been the primary way market systems reduce poverty and raise standards of living. Economic growth results f...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Saving, Investment, The stock market, The bond market, Primary and secondary markets for financial securities, Banks, Circular flow, The 'invisible hand',

Lesson 2: Property Rights and Contracts as Economic Institutions
Focus: Institutions and Markets
Students consider the importance of a system of defining, recording and protecting property rights in a market-based economy. Students differentiate between private and communal property, they consider various methods for recording property ownership, and they examine one institution - The United States Patent and Trademark Office - created to define and protect property rights. Finally, stu...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Private property, Communal property, Intellectual property, Market economy, Incentives, Legal foundations of a market economy, Contracts,

Theme 4: Lesson 19 - Scams and Schemes
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
This lesson reminds students that while most credit transactions are completely legal, there are some that are not. This lesson introduces scams and schemes, such as identity theft, loan scams, and credit repair loans. The lesson also features legal but high-cost credit practices prevalent in urban areas such as payday loans and rent-to-own plans.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Legal forms of business

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,

Lesson 11: "Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Why Do We Need the WTO?"
Focus: Institutions and Markets
Several activities are used to introduce students to six international institutions that play important economic roles, especially in the areas of international trade, finance, and development: the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: International economic institutions, Gains from trade, Tariffs, Public goods, Market failures, Monetary policy, Property rights, Competition,

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 13: What type off business should I start?
Master Curriculum Guide: Economics and Entrepreneurship
As each entrepreneur makes the decision to start a business, he or she must also decide what type of business organization will be most advantageous for the new business. There are three types of business organizations: sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic Institutions, Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation,

Macroeconomics Unit 4: Lesson 4 - The Federal Reserve System and Its Tools
Advanced Placement Economics: Teacher Resource Manual
The focus of this lesson is the Federal Reserve System: how its actions relate to the money creation process introduced in the last lesson and how its tools affect the money supply. The Federal Reserve System is the central bank for the United States. It has regulatory authority for many financial institutions that hold checkable deposits. It has the responsibility to control the money supply ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Federal Reserve System, Money supply,

Lesson 3: Political and Economic Freedoms
From Plan to Market: Teaching Ideas for Social Studies, Economics, and Business Classes
Students participate in a teacher-led class discussion, view visuals, and analyze a figure showing the relationship between economic liberalization and economic growth.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Political Freedom, Economic Freedom, Liberalization, Market Prices, Incentives, Trade, Voluntary Exchange

Lesson 4: Sparta, Athens, Cuba and the United States: Ancient and Modern Examples of Command and Market Economies
Focus: Economic Systems
Students compare the economies of ancient Sparta and Athens using primary sources of speeches and other historical accounts. Students then compare the current economic systems of the United States and Cuba, using passages from their respective national constitutions.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic Institiutions, Market Economy, Command Economy, Economic Freedom, Property Rights

Lesson 7: The Money Maze
Economies in Transition: Command to Market
In this lesson, students use "greenbacks" to purchase the spring for a ballpoint pen from the teacher. They are required to use the pen to complete a worksheet. In order to purchase the spring, they must find someone in the school who will lend them "greenbacks." Students then learn about the importance of financial markets and the lack of these markets in many transition economies.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Financial Intermediaries, Financial Capital Market, Capital, Investment

Unit 1: Lesson 2 - Is Economic Freedom a Necessary Condition for Political Freedom?
Civics and Government: Focus on Economics
Students explore the relationship between economic freedom and political freedom. Do countries that provide for political freedom also provide for economic freedom? Is there a connection between decentralized economic decision making and decentralized political decision making? Students make inferences about this relationship in the beginning of the lesson; then they use selected excerpts to de...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Market economic systems, Economic freedom, Political freedom, Role of government,

Lesson 8: Entrepreneurial Behavior in Other Settings
Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Economy: Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson, students will define and give examples of intrapreneurship; distinguish between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship; interpret graphs and trends regarding entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of being innovative within an existing firm or a not-for-profit organization could take to encourage innovation among its employees.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Intrapreneurship, Quality circles, Not-for-profit organizations

Lesson 1: What Is an Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Economy: Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson, students will define entrepreneurship; describe entrepreneurial attributes demonstrated by successful entrepreneurs; and, compare personal attributes with attributes generally common to successful entrepreneurs.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Innovative, Maximize, Business firms, Human capital, Labor, Profit

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 19: Privatization Around the World
Focus: International Economics
In this lesson, students review and evaluate the approaches most widely used to privatize public enterprises and services. They also review some international comparisons on the success of these programs in different nations. In the assessment section, references to several articles on privatization that have appeared in recent issues of The Economist magazine are provided to enable teachers and...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Competition, Institutions, Property Rights, Privatization

Lesson 11 - Money and Inflation
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Students observe a simple demonstration to determine the functions that money performs. They next participate in two rounds of an auction illustrating how increases in the money supply lead to inflation. They view an active demonstration of the equation MV = PQ to understand the relationship among the variables and the intent of monetary policy. This lesson may be used as either an introduction to...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Federal Reserve System, Functions of money, Inflation, Monetary policy, Money, MV = PQ

Lesson 19: Financing the Entrepreneurial Enterprise
Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Economy: Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson, students will explain why entrepreneurs need adequate financing to be successful; identify possible sources of financing for entrepreneurs; cit factors that influence the cost of financing an entrepreneurial enterprise; compare alternative methods of financing and entrepreneurial enterprise; evaluate alternatives for financing an entrepreneurial venture and decide which alternative...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Credit worthiness, Debt, Fixed interest rates, Flexible interest rates, Prime interest rate, Federal Reserve System, Equity

Lesson 12: Geo-Poems and Eco-Poems
Geography: Focus on Economics
Students write a Geo-Poem or an Eco-Poem describing a city or country, share their poems in small groups, select the best poem in each group to share with the class, discuss differences between geographic and economic perspectives, and evaluate this activity as a way of learning.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Location, Place, Human-Environment Interaction, Movement, Regions, Resources, Economic Institutions, Role of Government,

ONLINE LESSONS:

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 The Collapse of Corporate Giants: The New Dr. Evils?
This lesson was inspired by an article in "Fortune" magazine, "Why Companies Fail," May 27,2002. Its focus is on the relationship of business ethics to business bankruptcy or near failure. Students participate in a simulation by assuming the roles of either members of an inquirery board or by assuming the roles of the chief executive officers of a selected corporation. ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Business,Choice,Competition,Decision Making,Economic Freedom,Legal and Social Framework

online Worker Safety - The Triangle Fire Legacy
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 was a turning point for employee health and safety protections in the U.S. Students investigate the Triangle tragedy and how its impact is still felt today. Students identify eerie parallels between the Triangle Fire and more recent workplace events with safety implications – recent complaints of Wal-Mart employee lock-ins, a deadly fire in a No...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Role of Government,Benefit,Costs,Labor,Labor Union,Special Interest Group

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 President Jackson and the Veto of the Second National Bank
ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Could the conflict over the Second National Bank have been resolved in a way that supported the values advocated by both President Jackson and Congress?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money Supply,Definition of Money,Monetary Policy,Money,Risk,Government Failure,Market Failures,Bank,Fraud Risk,Paper Money,Characteristics of Money

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 To Keep the Strike Going or to End It? That Was the Question
According to the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, tenth edition, the term "strike" is defined as a "temporary stoppage of activities to protest against an act or condition." This is what the NBA players union decided to do in July 1998. The term "lockout" is defined as "the withholding of employment by an employer and the whole or partial closing of his b...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Incentive,Labor Union

online The Columbian Exchange
In this lesson, students learn that the Columbian Exchange resulted in an enormous exchange of goods, resources, and institutions between the Old World and the New World and that the results of the Exchange were both positive and negative. The lesson begins with an activity in which students are divided into two groups: Old World consumers and New World consumers. Students are given food cards to ...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Productive Resources,Specialization,Legal Foundations of a Market Economy,Market Economy,Productivity,Standard of Living,Voluntary Exchange,Trade

online My Credit Rating: Why Should I Care?
Credit is a wonderful tool for the consumer. It can enhance your quality of life. It enables you to buy and enjoy a purchase before you have the money to pay for it. On the other hand, it can create serious problems for people who use it incorrectly.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital Resources,Consumers,Credit,Decision Making

online Multipliers and the Mystery of the Magic Money
Students learn about the purpose of the reserve requirement, how money is "created" in the economy through fractional reserves, and how the Federal Reserve uses the reserve requirement and loans to correct economic instability.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Banking,Central Banking System,Inflation,Supply,Tools of the Federal Reserve,Deflation

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