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Virtual Economics

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Lesson 3 - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Automobile Insurance
Virtual Economics: Insurance Lessons
The topic of automobile insurance is important to most high school students because of their interest in owning and operating a car or truck. But many teenagers think vehicle insurance is esoteric and mysterious. This lesson provides some basic information about auto insurance to help the students make better choices when they buy these policies.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Bodily-injury liability coverage, Collision coverage, Comprehensive coverage, Deductible, Fault insurance, Financial-responsibility law, Liability, Medical-payments coverage, No-fault insurance, Personal-injury coverage, Property-damage liability coverage, Uninsured and underinsured, motorist coverage,

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,

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,

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 2 - The Basics of Life Insurance
Virtual Economics: Insurance Lessons
This lesson focuses on basic information that everyone should know and be able to apply when they purchase life insurance. This knowledge is especially important for recent high school graduates who are approached to buy life insurance.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Beneficiary, Cash-value life-insurance policy, Endowment policy, Face value, Limited-payment policy, Term-life insurance, Whole-life policy,

Lesson 1 - Decision Making: Scarcity, Opportunity Cost, and You
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a group activity that illustrates the concepts of scarcity, opportunity cost, trade-offs, and consequences.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Opportunity cost, Trade-offs, Consequences,

Unit 9: Lesson 5 - Why Does the U.S. Government Discourage World Trade?
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students will use supply and demand analysis to analyze potential costs and gains for producers and consumers of a protectionist law for mattresses. They will use this analysis to predict potential levels of political support for two other protectionist laws.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Protectionism, Rent-seeking,

Unit 9: Lesson 3 - Trading Around the World
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students begin by evaluating the personal satisfaction they attach to a small gift presented to them by their teacher. Then they participate in a trade simulation which has two different rounds. After each round they again evaluate the personal satisfaction they attach to the item they possess as a result of trades they have made. After the simulation they compare their behavior to trade among ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Voluntary trade, Utility,

Unit 9: Lesson 4 - What Does Michael Jackson Have in Common with a Jeep?
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students will analyze trade data to identify the large U.S. trade deficit. Then they will read a case study about two U.S. products that successfully competed in the world market in the 1990s and draw inferences from these examples which they use in making recommendations about how other products can compete successfully in the world market. They will allocate funds in a simulated firm to promot...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Trade deficit, Consumer choices,

Lesson 2 - Applying a Decision-Making Model: You and Your Future
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a group activity using the decision-making grid. They learn why two individuals may reach different decisions even when they use an identical decision-making model. This lesson helps students appreciate different points of view.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Choice, Decision making, Alternatives, Criteria, Decision grid,

Lesson 4 - A Student's Potential in the Labor Market: It's a Matter of Supply and Demand
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students engage in two labor market simulations. One market is characterized by high wages and specific skill requirements; the other is characterized by low wages and low skill requirements. Students evaluate their own skills and plan ways to improve the skills in which they are weak.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Supply of labor, Demand for labor, Equilibrium wage, Skills,

Lesson 9 - Collective Bargaining: A Negotiation Simulation
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students will form labor and management teams to negotiate a contract. Two bargaining sessions take place, at the end of which a contract is negotiated or a strike or a lockout occurs.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Interdependence, Scarcity, Trade-off, Marginal cost, Marginal benefit,

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 11 - Housing: Deciding to Rent or Buy
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students begin by learning to apply the decision-making process to a major purchasing decision, and they become acquainted with how to use a decision making grid. Next, students will participate in a simulation in which they are buyers and sellers of housing services. Some students will be buyers who must decide whether to rent or buy. Other students will be sellers who have houses or apartment...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Opportunity Cost, Interest, Market, Supply, Demand,

Lesson 8 - The Role of Government: Who Needs It?
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students view transparencies showing (1) a comic strip featuring a teenage taxpayer and (2) data on sources of federal government receipts. They participate in a group activity where they decide where the federal government should spend its money, and contrast their decisions with actual federal spending data. They evaluate local government services using information from a local phone book. Th...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Role of government, Sources of taxes, Government services, Scarcity, Opportunity cost, Trade-offs,

Lesson 7 - Business Decision Making: Are They Out to Get You?
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
This lesson helps students understand that businesses must consider the cost of producing their products and how those costs affect their profits. Many teachers form elaborate classroom corporations in order to help their students gain an understanding of and appreciation for the business person's perspective. The class is involved in market research, product pricing, production, marketing, and ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Productive resources, Natural resource, Human resources, Capital resources, Fixed cost, Variable cost, Total cost, Total revenue, Profit, Competition,

Unit 9: Lesson 2 - Why Does the Federal Government Overspend its Budget?
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
The teacher will present a definition of "federal budget deficits" and provide a historical overview of deficits since 1960. Students will use the HDG principles to predict levels of support for different proposals to reduce the deficit.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: National debt, Deficit, Incentives,

Lesson 5 - Price As A Rationing Method: How Does A Market Work?
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students use the price mechanism to allocate scarce goods and one good which may not be scarce.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Allocation, Relative price, More scarce, Less scarce,

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 3 - Planning and Goal Setting: Can You Get There From Here?
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
This lesson is in two parts. Part I focuses on how to set goals. Part II focuses on the influence goal setting has on exploring careers. Each part of the lesson can stand alone or can be used with Lesson 4, A Student's Potential for the Labor Market or Lesson 6, Financial Planning: Budgeting Your Financial Resources.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Decision making, Opportunity cost, Scarcity, Choice, Alternatives,

ONLINE LESSONS:

online Owning a Car
Using a Better Money Habits video, this lesson introduces students to the various costs associated with buying and operating a car, including monthly payments, gasoline, insurance, and maintenance.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Decision Making,Interest,Comparison Shopping,Insurance

online Break a Leg
In this lesson students will learn about the basic components and terminology of individual health insurance. Students will make decisions about the value of insurance protection and you will identify trends in the cost of medical care in the United States.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget,Choice,Consumer Economics,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Opportunity Cost,Trade-off,Insurance

online In the Market for a New Car?
There are three major purchases that you will make in your lifetime, and one happens to be buying a car. Buying a car can be a challenging and daunting task if you haven't done your due diligence. Doing so helps you form a game plan prior to speaking with a salesperson, and will minimize the anxiety you'll face with buying a car. This resource will help walk you through the steps necessary...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget,Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Insurance

online Understanding a Balance Sheet
A balance sheet shows the assets, liabilities, and net worth for a business on a given day. This business document is one of the major documents used in evaluating a business. Students will learn the components of a balance sheet by working through many problems to strengthen their understanding.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Decision Making,Liability,Net Worth

online The History of Medicare
ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Medicare 1966: President Lyndon Johnson’s “American way” or Ronald Reagan’s “advance wave of socialism”?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Government Expenditures,Federal Budget,Government Spending,Insurance

online Discover How Two Way Tables Are Used To Determine Auto Insurance Deductibles and Premiums
Students collect data from a hands-on activity involving Colors Goldfish® Baked Snack Crackers to learn how to create a two-way table, find the marginal distribution, and find the conditional distribution. Students then use given data to find marginal and conditional distributions to determine which groups are at higher risks of receiving a traffic ticket. Lastly, students use this information...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Risk,Deductible,Insurance,Premium,Personal Finance

online Mobile Phones Matter
Most high school students are comfortable using mobile phones. Many high school students use smartphones, such as iPhones, which are becoming part of our culture. It is also becoming more cost effective to use the broad range of smartphone services to cut down on other costs such as watches, games, and other accessory items. According to Maximilian Schmeiser of the Federal Reserve, the Center for ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Banking,Budget,Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Opportunity Cost,Trade-off,Benefit,Insurance

online Unemployment in My Hometown
Students use the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to track unemployment rates for their community, and after researching information about the industrial makeup of their community, explain whether their local unemployment rates tend to remain stable or tend to reflect changes in national economic growth and recession.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Types of Unemployment

online How is Our Economy Doing?
Students learn the meaning and measurement of six important economic indicators and use the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank National Economic Trends website to assess the current state of the economy.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic Growth,Full Employment,Gross Domestic Product (GDP),Inflation,Interest Rate,Deflation

online Lemonade and Cookies
Everyday countries trade their goods because they have the comparative advantage in making that particular good. In this lesson, you will read through an interactive story problem to learn about trade and specialization and the outcomes they have on the world.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Exports,Specialization,Imports

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