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Virtual Economics


Lesson 10- How The Industrial Revolution Raised Living Standards
World History: Focus on Economics
The teacher conducts a brief simulation that illustrates how specialization and division of labor and improvements in capital goods increase productivity. The teacher displays a visual that shows other sources of increases in productivity. Students work in groups to find examples of different ways of increasing productivity in a reading about Josiah Wedgwood and the Industrial Revolution and how ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Productivity, Unit Costs, Specialization and Division of Labor, Capital Goods, Technology, Transportation Costs, Standard of Living

Lesson 3 - Productivity in the Fertile Crescent
Old MacDonald to Uncle Sam: Lesson Plans from Writers around the World
In this lesson, students participate in three rounds of a simulation in which they are merchants who must keep written records on their trades. In Round 1 they do not have some required skills or knowledge and are unable to produce written records. They must rely on scribes. In Round 2 the merchants use new information about Babylonia numerals and the Phoenician alphabet and receive training in...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Labor productivity, Human capital, Technological change, Capital goods,

Lesson 8 - Productivity
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Working in small groups, the students participate in a production simulation to determine the effects of specialization on labor productivity, the division of labor, and investment in human capital and capital goods.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investment in capital goods, Investment in human capital, Productivity, Specialization and division of labor

Unit 2: Lesson 6 - Changing Productivity
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In a production simulation, students experience several ways of producing something; they also measure productivity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Division of labor, Human capital, Production, Productivity, Specialization,

Lesson 9: The Distribution of Income and Investments in Human Capital
Focus: Institutions and Markets
This lesson introduces students to some key facts about the distribution of income in the United States, and provides some information and tools for analyzing changes in the distribution of income over the last three decades. Students' intuition about who earns more or less, and why, is the basis for several activities; but in some cases their intuition will likely be challenged.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investment in human capital, Factor income, Functional distribution of income, Personal distribution of income,

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

Lesson 5: Making Things Entrepreneurs Sell
Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Economy: Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson, students will define and give examples of four functional activities of business; define and give examples of the four factors of production; demonstrate how the four factors of production can be combined to produce goods and services; analyze the actions of a hypothetical entrepreneur to determine the mistake make and how it can be corrected; relate problems described in readings ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Functional activities of business ( marketing finance production management), Natural resources, Factors of production (land labor capital entrepreneurship)

Unit 7: Lesson 20 - Toward a Sustainable Future?
Economics and the Environment
Students make choices concerning their own standard of living. The choice activity shows why there tends to be a positive relationship between economic development and environment quality.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Sustainable Development, Economic Development, Capital, Technology, Technological Advance, Standard of Living,

Lesson 9: The Circular Flow Between Consumers and Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Economy: Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson, students will identify components of the circular-flow diagram; trace the flows of goods and services, factors of production, and money through the circular flow; explain how households and businesses are both buyers and sellers in our market system; relate events in the circular flow to actions of entrepreneurs.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Income, Circular flow, Circular-flow diagram, Households, Product market, Factor market

Lesson 6: Markets in the circular flow of the economy
Master Curriculum Guide: Economics and Entrepreneurship
In the United States, all firms exist within the context of our economic system, which economists represent with a circular flow model. In this mode, businesses sell goods and services to households in the product market. The money that firms earn in the product market is used to purchase factors of production from households in the factor market.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Markets, Circular Flow Model, Product Market, Factor Market,

Lesson 21: Economic Growth and Development
Focus: High School Economics
Economic growth is measured by a rise in real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) over time. When a nation's production of goods and services rises faster than its population, real GDP per capita increases. That signals a rise in average income and the material standard of living. In other words, more production per person translates into more income and more consumption per perso...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic growth, Real GDP per capita, Investment, Production, Inputs, Human capital, Technology,

Lesson 8: Getting More or Using Less
Focus: High School Economics
Although the problem of scarcity can never be eliminated, finding ways to increase productivity can moderate it. Productivity is the amount of goods and services produced (output) per unit of productive resources used (input). Productivity can be increased by producing more goods and services with the same amount of resources, or by producing the same amount of goods and services with fewer reso...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Productivity, Specialization and division of labor, Investment in capital goods, Investment in human capital,

Lesson 1: Markets and the Market System
Focus: Institutions and Markets
This lesson introduces students to the primary economic institution in a market economy, markets. As described in the introductory essay to this volume, markets are an institution that emerges spontaneously from the interaction of self-interested buyers and sellers, establishing prices for goods and services that provide key incentives and signals. The first activity in this lesson stresses the ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Product markets, Factor markets, Allocative efficiency, Circular flow model, Shortage, Surplus, Market prices, Law of demand, Law of supply,

Microeconomics Unit 4: Lesson 5 - Analyzing Factor-Market Concepts
Advanced Placement Economics: Teacher Resource Manual
This lesson helps the students to apply their knowledge of factor markets to conventional and unconventional situations. Activity 51 can be assigned as homework or completed in groups. It is good practice for the complex application questions that are emphasized on the AP test.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Factor market concepts,

Microeconomics Unit 4: Lesson 1 - An Introduction to Factor Markets
Advanced Placement Economics: Teacher Resource Manual
Students can understand factor or resource markets better if they gain an overall perspective before getting into the details of marginal productivity theory. In this lesson, the students learn that a firm is both a seller in product markets and a buyer in factor markets. This lesson also brings out some key ideas to give structure to the lessons that follow.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Factor markets, Product markets, Monopsony, Monopoly,

Unit 6: Lesson 2 - Productivity Raises Output
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students discuss an economic mystery. A brief simulation illustrates the concept of productivity. Ways of increasing productivity are discussed. Historical examples of increased productivity are given.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Standard of living, Supply, Demand, Interchangeable parts, Division of labor, Specialization,

Lesson 11 - Where Did the African-American Middle Class Come From?
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a class discussion of segregation and racism. In small groups, the students examine statistical data and formulate explanations regarding the development of an African-American middle class.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Investment in human capital

Lesson 10: Why Are Some Nations Wealthy?
Focus: Economic Systems
Students work in pairs to examine data from several nations regarding size, natural resources, and population. Using these data they make predictions about which nations are likely to be below, at, or above the world average of per capita Gross Domsetic Product (GDP). GDP is the basic economic measure of national income, so per capita GDP is a key measure of a nation's per person income. Studen...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic Growth, Productivity, Property Rights, Saving and Investment, Physical Capital and Human Capital, Natural Resources, Trade

Unit 2: Lesson 7 - Human Capital and Productivity
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In a math demonstration, students demonstrate how capital resources and improvements in human capital can increase productivity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital goods, Human capital, Productivity,

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,


online Why does Eli Manning Make $24 million per year?
What determines a person's salary? Why do professional athletes make so much money? People who work as firefighters, police officers or teachers are clearly more important to our society, yet they make much less money than jocks. What explains this?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Division of Labor,Human Resources,Income,Supply,Distribution of Income,Human Capital,Labor,Labor Market,Resources

online Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution (Part 1)
Advancements in transportation have played a key role in the growth of our nation. U.S.government policies have also had a considerable impact on the development of transport as we know it today. In this series of three lessons,the students examine transportation and its impact on our nation (and vice versa) since the United States declared its independence in 1776. Lesson 1 focuses on improvement...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Economic Growth,Incentive,Inventors,Markets,Non-price Determinants,Price,Role of Government,Specialization,Supply,Technological Changes,Costs,Determinants of Supply,Gains from Trade,Investment,Standard of Living,Transaction Costs,Innovation

online Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution (Part 2)
Advancements in transportation have played a key role in the growth of our nation. U.S.government policies have also had a considerable impact on the development of transport as we know it today. In this series of three lessons, the students examine the advancements in automobiles, roads, airlines and airports.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Exports,Gross Domestic Product (GDP),Incentive,Inventors,Markets,Price,Specialization,Technological Changes,Benefit,Costs,Imports,Investment,Profit,Innovation

online Case Study on Productivity (1 of 3): Henry Ford and the Model T
When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, he probably did not realize what a great impact his achievement would have on life in the United States and, eventually, the world. Ford’s use of mass production strategies to manufacture the Model T revolutionized industrial manufacturing and initiated a new era in personal transportation...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Division of Labor,Factors of Production,Production,Productive Resources,Specialization,Entrepreneur,Labor,Productivity,Resources,Innovation

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 The Economics of the Family Farm
Learn about the status of farming as a career, investigate the management of a family farm, and examine one recent farm crisis in this lesson. You'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view some of the materials for this article.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital Resources,Demand,Factors of Production,Human Resources,Natural Resources,Supply

online Blowing in the Wind
Wind energy is becoming a viable alternative to more traditional forms of energy generation. In this lesson, students will determine the feasibility of wind generation in different areas of the United States. Finally, students will explore the possible role of government in providing incentives for wind energy generation.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentive,Technological Changes

online Capital Investments: Human v. Physical
In this lesson you will define human capital and understand why it is necessary for economic growth. Also, you will explore how people can increase their personal level of human capital.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Human Capital,Physical Capital

online The Economics of Income: The Rich Nations Mystery
Why are some countries very wealthy and others so poor? In this lesson you will learn about the factors that contribute to a nation's standard of living.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital Resources,Entrepreneurship,Income,Natural Resources

online Green Eggs and ...Economics?
Economic concepts are often found in places students have never considered, like children’s literature. In this lesson, students will explore the various economic concepts addressed in five of Dr. Seuss' most popular books: The Cat in the Hat; Green Eggs and Ham; The Lorax; Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and Horton Hears a Who!
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Externalities,Opportunity Cost,Specialization,Property Rights,Wants,Complements,Market Failures,Tragedy of the Commons,Utility

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