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Virtual Economics

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Unit 1: Lesson 3 - The Hula Hoop Market of 1958
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students discuss a mystery regarding the manufacture of Hula Hoops. Students examine a series of supply and demand diagrams and use them to explain the production of Hula Hoops in 1958.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand, Supply, Market, Price, Incentive, Surplus, Shortage,

Unit 5: Lesson 14 - Buying Environmental Quality at Discount Prices
Economics and the Environment
Students play the role of company representatives and regulators in an attempt to reduce emissions of HW700 (a fictitious pollutant) in the least-costly manner possible.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Markets, Supply, Demand, Economic Incentives, Cost Effectiveness, Emission Charges, Tradable Permits,

Lesson 6: Price Controls -- Too High or Too Low
Focus: High School Economics
Sometimes governments interfere with market forces by establishing minimum prices or maximum prices for specific goods and services. Examples of such legal price controls include minimum prices for milk and grain products to help agricultural producers; minimum wage laws in labor markets; and maximum prices for apartment rents, for gasoline in the 1970s, and for many products during World Wars I ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Markets, Prices, Supply, Demand, Price ceilings and floors

Unit 2: Lesson 10 - Equilibrium Prices and Equilibrium Quantities
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
In examining a visual about the market for yo-yos, students think through the process of mutual accommodation among buyers and sellers that results in an equilibrium price. Students then complete an activity plotting supply and demand curves in the market for Frisbees, identifying the equilibrium price and quantity under different conditions.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand, Equilibrium price, Quantity demanded, Quantity supplied, Shortage, Supply, Surplus

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,

Lesson 11: Those Golden Jeans
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 3-4
Supply and demand are concepts that students can easily understand when the concepts are demonstrated with products familiar to them. The Law of Demand states that consumers are willing and able to buy less of a product at higher prices and more of a product at lower prices. The demand curve is a graphic representation of the quantity of a product consumers are willing and able to buy at differe...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Supply, Demand, Consumer, Businesses, Price, Equilibrium price, Shortage, Surplus,

Lesson 18 - How Are Stock Prices Determined?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students participate in a stock market simulation that shows how the price of a share of stock is determined in a competitive market. Then they analyze what happened in the simulation to learn how stock prices are discovered through supply and demand and not conspiratorially set by authorities.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Demand, Equilibrium price, Shift in demand or supply, Shortage, Supply, Surplus

Lesson 3: Equilibrium: Determining Prices and Quantities
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 9-12
Supply and demand affect the prices people pay and the quantities they exchange in a market economy. Equilibrium is said to occur at the point at which quantity supplied equals quantity demanded. This point is at the intersection of the supply and demand curves. The point can also be found by solving the equations of the demand and supply curves simultaneously.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Equilibrium price, Quantity demanded, Quantity supplied, Surplus,

Lesson 7 - A Market in Wheat
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Students participate as buyers or sellers in a simulation that shows how a competitive market works. They determine individual profits or losses from market transactions. They use data from the simulation to plot and interpret a graph showing supply and demand. Note: This activity requires a class of at least 20 students to be effective. Up to 50 students can participate if your room is large eno...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand, Market, Market-clearing price, equilibrium price, Shortage, Supply, Surplus

Unit 2: Lesson 12 - How Do Prices Influence My Behavior? Price Elasticity
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students review consumer and producer behavior in light of changing prices. They predict consumers' and producers' responses to changes in prices, product characteristics, costs of production, time and technology factors.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Incentives, Price, Price elasticity, Substitutes

Unit 2: Lesson 13 - How Markets Allocate Resources
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students read I, Pencil, by Leonard Read, to gain an understanding of Adam Smith's concept of the invisible hand of the marketplace. Students see that a system of market prices brings about cooperation without coercion. Then students use supply and demand analysis to explain how a change in one market tends to affect related markets.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Complements, Invisible hand of the marketplace, Markets and prices, Secondary effects, Substitutes, Supply and demand

Lesson 13: Mind Your P's and Q's
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 5-6
Market-clearing prices and quantities exchanged can change if fluctuations in demand or supply or both occur. Demand and supply will change when the non-price determinants change. How these changes affect the equilibrium price and quantity exchanged in the market are described below.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Changes in market equilibrium,

Unit 3: Lesson 2 - The Economics of Immigration
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students examine a mystery about why Swedish farmers might have come to the Unites States in 1880. They study a series of visuals about the economics of immigration. Finally, they use supply and demand analysis to explain why the king of Sweden attempted to persuade Swedish immigrants to return to Sweden.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Supply, Demand, Price,

Unit 7: Lesson 18 - Recycling: A Tale of Two Markets
Economics and the Environment
The collection and reprocessing markets for recyclables are described. Students analyze the workings of these markets. Some of the costs of recycling are demonstrated by an activity in which students actually produce some recycled paper.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Costs, Change in Demand, Change in Supply, Derived Demand, Equilibrium, Price, Market,

Unit 7: Lesson 5 - Can Higher Prices for Agricultural Products Help the Economy?
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students will use graphs depicting supply and demand conditions in the milk market to evaluate the impact of New Deal legislation on the national economy.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Markets, Supply, Demand, Price, Subsidies,

Lesson 5: Markets Interact
Focus: High School Economics
Supply and demand analysis is most often used to show the impact of market changes on equilibrium price and quantity for a particular good or service. But it can also be used to show how changes in one market lead to changes in many other markets. Doing that is an important step towards building an understanding of how a system of markets works. It can also demonstrate the inherent difficulty o...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Equilibrium price, Equilibrium quantity, Supply, Demand, Interdependence,

Lesson 9 - Why Do Oil Reserves Keep Increasing?
Economics and the Environment: Ecodetectives
The students view a visual regarding oil reserves and consumption. They calculate how many years it will take us to run out of oil at a given rate of consumption. The teacher then explains that the numbers on the visual were from 1970 and that in the meanwhile we have not run out of oil. How can this be? The students learn the meaning of provable reserves of petroleum and use economic reasoning to...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Incentive, Price, Supply

Unit 2: Lesson 11 - Do Prices Matter to Consumers?
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
This lesson demonstrates how people use prices when they weight expected costs and expected benefits in making economic decisions. It helps students see how choosing a second-best good or service can in some cases improve their overall well-being.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Benefits, Choice, Costs, Incentives, Price, Substitutes

Unit 2: Lesson 9 - A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Supply
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students analyze the relationship between changing prices and changes in producer behavior. They create a supply schedule graph to represent this relationship. They observe changes in determinants of supply and note the effect of those changes on the supply schedule and the corresponding price-quality relationship.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Determinants of supply, Incentive, Price, Supply

Unit 1: Lesson 3 - The Hula Hoop Market of 1958
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students discuss a mystery regarding the manufacture of Hula Hoops. Students examine a series of supply and demand diagrams and use them to explain the production of Hula Hoops in 1958.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand, Supply, Market, Price, Incentive, Surplus, Shortage,

ONLINE LESSONS:

online A Lesson on the Supply and Demand of Toy Fads
The concepts of supply and demand and related terms are taught through stories about the toy fads of Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz. In 1958, Wham-O, Inc. began marketing the Hula Hoop in the United States and sales of the Hula Hoops sky-rocketed as over 25 million were sold in the first few months, within the year over 100 million. Similarly today, Silly Bandz has taken off in sales since the summer ...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Demand,Equilibrium Price,Shortage,Supply,Surplus

online What causes inflation?
This lesson explores different types of inflation and terms associated with this economic concept. You may have heard relatives talk about the good old days when a dollar would buy something. What happened to that dollar? Why won’t it buy as much as it did last month or last year? What happened is inflation. In this lesson you will examine the various causes and theories of inflation as...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Incentive,Inflation,Markets,Price,Supply

online Chevy Volt... It's Electric!
The costs and benefits of owning an electric or hybrid car will be evaluated in this lesson. By reading and researching the history of the production of electric cars, the lesson allows students to understand how this market has developed. Specifically, the evaluation will focus on the Chevy Volt and its attempt to compete in a constantly evolving market of automobiles. Through this lesson, studen...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Competition,Incentive,Price,Quantity Demanded,Quantity Supplied,Costs,Costs of Production,Operating Costs

online Rationing Transplants: An Ethical Problem
On November 1, 1999, Walter Payton, former Chicago Bears running back, died waiting for a liver transplant. Payton's death re-opened the nation's attention to the issue of organ donation. The National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 (NOTA) made giving or receiving compensation for organ donation illegal in the United States. Currently in the United States there exists a large shortage of viable organ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Incentive,Market Structure,Scarcity,Supply

online Fill 'er up, Please
Americans drive more than 2.6 trillion miles per year, that's 14,000 round trips to the sun! And for the most part, these vehicles are all running on gasoline. For many of us, we watch the price of gas as closely as the price of a gallon of milk, or the price of a movie ticket. This activity provides the students an opportunity to learn how gas prices are created and what are the component...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Choice,Consumers,Decision Making,Demand,Incentive,Markets,Price,Producers,Supply,Taxation

online The Prices Are Changing
This lesson will help students to understand how markets are created by the interaction of buyers and sellers, what demand and supply are, what equilibrium price is, and how demand and supply interact with price changes.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Demand,Equilibrium Price,Markets,Supply

online Who Knows What Inefficiencies Lurk in the Hearts of Rent Controlled Housing Markets? The Shadow Market Knows!
Imagine that you've just graduated from college and have been offered a position with a firm in New York City. You can't wait to start living in your own apartment. Your Aunt Bernice, who lives in Brooklyn Heights, has offered you a place to stay while you look for a place to begin living on your own.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Housing,Markets,Scarcity,Supply

online Economics in the Headlines
Students learn how to identify headlines in the news and current events as illustrations of problems in supply and demand. Students will be linked to news sites to create their own analysis of supply and demand issues in problems facing our society.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Equilibrium Price,Markets,Price,Supply

online Henry Ford and the Model T: A Case Study in Productivity (Part 3)
When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, it is doubtful even he realized the far reaching impact such an achievement would have on life in the U.S. 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 transportati...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Economic Growth,Entrepreneurship,Equilibrium Price,Markets,Price,Quantity Demanded,Quantity Supplied,Supply,Determinants of Demand,Determinants of Supply,Productivity,Profit

online Collecting for Fun . . . and Profit?
Art, baseball cards, coins, comic books, dolls, jewelry and stamps are just a few examples of the many things people collect. While some people collect for fun — others hope to profit. In this lesson, students explore how supply and demand influence the price of collectibles. They also evaluate speculation in collectibles as an investment option. They learn that collectibles are one ...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Investing,Price,Supply,Investment,Risk

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