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Virtual Economics


Theme 3: Lesson 7 - To Choose is to Refuse
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, students use the concept of opportunity cost to help decide which wants to satisfy with their limited income. Practicing decision making helps build consumer skills and develop an understanding of the importance of good decision making.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Wants, Income, Opportunity cost, Consumer spending decisions, Goods and services, Wage, Profit, Productive resources,

Lesson 2 - Economic Decision Making
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Students brainstorm ways to allocate a scarce good within the classroom. Then they work with a decision-making model that helps them make a decision about this allocation by showing them how to evaluate the merits of each alternative. Finally, students classify examples of market, traditional and command economic systems.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Allocation, Choices, Economic systems, Economizing behavior, Opportunity cost, Scarcity

Unit 1: Lesson 2 - Scarcity and Abundance
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
The lesson provides students with two definitions of the term scarcity. They apply these definitions to several examples of human behavior. In the second part of the lesson they use the definitions to explain why people may treat scarce resources as if they were not scarce.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Alternatives, Choice, Scarcity

Lesson 13 - Researching Companies
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students apply an economic way of thinking to gathering information regarding securities. They learn that the cost of acquiring information must be compared to the anticipated benefit the information will provide. The students discuss the example of LeBron James and recognize that there is intense competition to find information about companies. They select companies to research by participati...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Alternatives, Choice, Fundamental analysis, Opportunity cost, Scarcity

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 1: There's Never Enough
The Wide World of Trade
Working in groups that represent countries, students randomly draw cards from boxes labeled natural resources, human resources, and capital goods. The groups use their available resources to provide for their citizens by satisfying their wants for food, clothing, housing, medical care, education, and entertainment for one year. The task is medical care, education, and entertainment for one year....
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Natural resources, Capital goods, Human resources, Scarcity, Opportunity cost,

Unit 1: Lesson 5 - Economic Choice and Opportunity Cost
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work- Grades 7-8 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Through a reading, students learn how scarcity makes choices necessary and results in opportunity cost.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Alternative, Economic want, Opportunity cost, Scarcity, Cost,

Unit 1: Lesson 1 - Making Choices
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 9-10 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students are introduced to the nature of choice making by confronting thorny problems individually and in groups.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Alternative, Choice, Opportunity cost, Scarcity, Value

Lesson 7: The Mathematics of Nonlinear Economic Shapes: The Production Possibilities Curve
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 9-12
Because the resources (such as raw materials, minerals, energy, labor, equipment, machinery, etc.) that are used to produce goods and services are limited in their availability, we cannot have all that we want. When limited resources come into conflict with unlimited wants, scarcity is said to exist. Without scarcity, we could have all that we want, and we would not need to make difficult and cost...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Choice, Opportunity cost, Efficiency, Economic growth,

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

Lesson 5 - Scarcity and Choice
Old MacDonald to Uncle Sam: Lesson Plans from Writers around the World
In this lesson, students participate in a role play as producers of two goods, allowing students to experience scarcity. They make choices about using their scarce resource to produce both or one of two goods. Then they construct production-possibilities curves, compute opportunity costs, and conclude that scarcity requires choice and every choice has an opportunity cost.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Productive resources, Opportunity cost,

Lesson 1: Choice, Opportunity Costs, and Decisions
Focus: High School Economics
Scarcity, choice, and cost are sometimes referred to as a basic trilogy of economics, because of the strong interrelationships between these fundamental concepts. Resources are limited, compared to wants; therefore, individuals and families face the problem of scarcity in deciding how to allocate their incomes and their time. All societies must also make choices about how to use their scarce res...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Opportunity costs, Tradeoffs,

Unit 2: Lesson 1 - The New World Was an Old World
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students are divided into groups and given copies of three case studies. In each case study, they identify one example of each HDG principle.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Scarcity, Opportunity cost, Specialization, Trade, Economic systems,

Lesson 3 - Invest in Yourself
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
To explore the concept that people invest in themselves through education, the students work in two groups and participate in a mathematics game. Both groups are assigned mathematics problems to solve. One group is told about a special technique for solving the problems. The other group is not. The game helps the students recognize that improved human capital allows people to produce more in the s...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Human capital, Income, Investment in human capital, Opportunity cost

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

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

Lesson 14: Orange Juice Jubilee
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 3-4
The simulation is a two-lesson unit designed to serve as a culminating activity for the review of economic concepts taught in the pervious thirteen lessons.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Division of labor, Decision making, Productive resources, Human capital, Interdependence, Market economy, Supply, Demand, Price, Collateral, Interest, Entrepreneurship,

Lesson 2 - How Much Depends on Where
Middle School World Geography: Focus on Economics
In this lesson, the students learn how the geography of a country can influence where goods are produced. The students use a map of a fictitious country to enhance their map skills. They derive geographic information from the map, use a scale to determine distances and areas, construct isolines representing points of equal annual rainfall, identify regions and color the map to show the areas where...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Economics, Opportunity cost, Production possibilities schedules

Lesson 6 - Joining Together That Which Has Drifted Apart
Middle School World Geography: Focus on Economics
In this lesson, the students learn about the physical forces that move people on different continents further apart and the economic forces that bring them together. They read about the formation and breakup of two great continents, Laurasia and Gondwana, over 150 million years ago. They learn that continents are still moving today. They take the role of workers on these two continents who are pro...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Productivity, Production possibilities, Opportunity cost, Absolute advantage, Comparative advantage ,Specialization

Lesson 7: Mitchell Is Moving
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
Mitchell the dinosaur is bored and wants to move away. His decision to move costs him something, something very important left behind. Mitchell solves the dilemma, builds a new home, and keeps an old friend.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choices, Scarcity, Human Resources, Capital Resources, Opportunity Cost, Productive Resources, Natural Resources


online Work, Earnings and Economics: Using 'Lyddie' by Katherine Paterson
To get started, the students will read Lyddie, a novel by Katherine Paterson. The novel is set mainly in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s. In Lowell the main character, 13-year-old Lyddie Worthen, works six days a week, from dawn until dusk, running weaving looms in a murky dust-and lintfilled factory, trying to save enough money to reunite her family. In reading and discussing this fine nov...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Budget,Choice,Decision Making,Economic Freedom,Economic Growth,Economic Wants,Human Resources,Incentive,Money Management,Opportunity Cost,Role of Government,Scarcity,Technological Changes,Borrower,Interest,Labor,Labor Union,Market Economy,Money,Resources,Special Interest Group,Standard of Living,Wants,Wage,Regulation,Savings,Savers

online Economic Spotter: Resources During World War II
In World War II pennies were made of steel and zinc instead of copper and women were working at jobs that men had always been hired to do. Why? Because during war times, scarcity forces many things to change!
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Capital Resources,Choice,Human Resources,Natural Resources,Opportunity Cost,Productive Resources,Scarcity,Technological Changes,Human Capital,Investment

online Destination: Mars
Look up! Can you ever imagine standing on another planet and looking down at earth? We've been to the moon - now lets launch an expedition to Mars. Imagine all the preparation you will have to go through in order to have a safe and successful mission! You must decide what you should take, how you will prepare yourself and carefully think through each and every choice – once you lift ...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Human Resources,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity

online Paraffin-alia
All resources are limited. It is this simple fact--scarcity--that forces us to make decisions. When we do make a choice, we pass up some other opportunity. Opportunity cost is defined as the next best alternative not chosen, or the alternative given up, when we make a decision. There are opportunity costs in making decisions about which movie you'd like to see at a certain time, how to spe...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Decision Making,Opportunity Cost,Productive Resources,Scarcity

online 'Be All You Can Be'...For Minimum Wage?
Perhaps you have seen the catchy TV ads for the various branches of the United States military. You know, the ones that tell you to "be all you can be...in the Army!." In the last decade, these advertisements have become necessary because compulsory military service (otherwise known as "the draft") no longer exists in the United States. Compulsory service, long required during ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Human Resources,Income,Opportunity Cost,Trade-off,Labor Market

online Booker T. Washington:"Fifty Cents and a Dream"
Young Booker T. Washington had a dream. That dream was to use the resources at his disposal to earn the money necessary to get an education that would allow him and others to become financially secure. This lesson based on the picture book "Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington" by Jabari Asim challenges young students to make connections between history and economic concepts.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Capital Resources,Decision Making,Economic Growth,Human Resources,Income,Productive Resources,Scarcity,Specialization,Capital,Job

online Hawaiian Economics: From the Mountains to the Sea
Ancient Hawaii was ruled by chiefs, who were responsible for the well-being of their people and for managing the islands' resources. The chiefs divided the islands into land districts shaped like pie slices called Ahupua'a (ah-who- pu-ah-ah.) Each Ahupua'a covered the three main regions of the islands: the mountains, the valleys, and the shore. This system was designed to allow all Hawaiian commun...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Decision Making,Economic Systems,Natural Resources,Scarcity,Trade-off

online "The Giver": Jonas Makes a Choice
Jonas, a twelve-year old, lives in a seemingly perfect futuristic world. His community protects him from all harm and in doing so has taken away his opportunity to make decisions. Will Jonas ever be able to make a choice on his own? This lesson is based on the award-winning book "The Giver" by Lois Lowry, [Houghton Mifflin, Co., 1993.]
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Incentive,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity,Benefit,Costs,Alternative

online Decision Making
Students apply a particular model for making decisions in exercises that call for choosing a college and buying a personal computer. The model focuses on explicit identification of problems, alternative possibilities for solving problems, criteria for evaluating those possibilities, and the opportunity cost of the decisions arising from the process. The need to make decisions is shown to be based ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity,Decision-Making Grid

online Production Possibilities Curve
Students will apply the concepts of scarcity, choice, and opportunity costs using a production possibilities curve. Students will interpret points inside and outside the curve. As an extension, students will see the relationship between a country's aggregate production function and its production possibilities curve.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity,Trade-off

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