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Virtual Economics


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 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,

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',

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

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,

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 25: Obtaining a Bank Loan
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
This and the following lesson are designed to familiarize students with that process of obtaining a loan from a bank. You may choose either to invite a banker to visit the classroom or take a study trip to a bank to obtain a loan. Either of these lessons can replace Lesson 24.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Business, Credit, Interest, Loan,

Lesson 3: What Happens When a Bank Makes a Loan?
Learning, Earning and Investing: Grades 4-5 Lessons
The students play roles in a simulation activity designed to show how bank loans made to individuals can have an impact on others in the community. Then, working in small groups, the students analyze other hypothetical loans, using flow charts or other diagrams to describe the probable impact of each.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Bank, Income, Interest, Loan, Profit

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 26: Study Trip
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
This optional lesson gives students the experience of visiting a bank to obtain a loan for their business. The lesson requires advance planning.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Business, Credit, Interest, Loan,

Unit 6: Lesson 16 - The Extinction of Chickens and Mosquitoes-- Not!
Economics and the Environment
The nature of biological growth is demonstrated with basic growth curves. These are used to show the incentive resource owners have to not harvest their resource too quickly and to maintain the size of their resource stock.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Renewable Resources, Common Property Resources, Economic Incentives,

Lesson 5 - The Buffalo Are Back
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a class discussion about the demise of the buffalo. They work in small groups to examine the incentives related to conserving the buffalo.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Property rights

Unit 5: Lesson 12 - Negotiate or Take Them to Court?
Economics and the Environment
Students, acting in pairs, play the roles of a fishing resort owner and a chemical company president in attempting to negotiate an agreement about how a lake is to be used. Their solution is shown to be that which maximizes the value obtained from the lake.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Coase Proposition, Property Rights, Common Law, Allocative Efficiency,

Unit 3: Lesson 6 - It's Fine as Long as It's Mine--All Mine!
Economics and the Environment
In determining the price and the quantity of notebooks produced in a hypothetical market, students review how markets work.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Private Property, Property Rights, Well-defined Property Rights, Self-interest Motives, Economic Incentives, Market, Price, Equilibrium, Allocative Efficiency, Common Property Resource,

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 3: Lesson 1 - Why Do Economies Grow?
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students examine a series of visuals and discuss factors associated with economic growth.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Growth, Private property rights, Investment, Physical capital, Human capital, Infrastructure, Gross Domestic Product,

Lesson 15 - How Private Efforts Can Improve Environmental Quality
Economics and the Environment: Ecodetectives
The students examine case studies showing how various uses of private property affect environmental quality. They analyze these cases in order to identify conditions under which private property ownership and the profit motive create incentives for environmental protection.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Benefits, Costs, Incentives, Private property, Profits, Voluntary exchange

Lesson 4 - Property Rights in a Market Economy
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Students discuss private property, free enterprise, self-interest, competition, a system of markets and prices, and limited government as characteristics of market economies. They participate in or observe an activity demonstrating that property rights affect incentives and behavior. They conclude that it is important to have clearly defined property rights so resources are not wasted.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Competition, Free enterprise, Limited government, Private property (property rights), Self-interest, System of markets and prices


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 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 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 How Global is Your Portfolio?
This engaging lesson challenges students to connect economics and geography as they investigate global companies in the stock market.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Stock Market,Savings,Economic Institutions

online New Sense, Inc. vs. Fish 'Till U Drop or Coase Vs. Pigou
Hot debate and arguments galore whirl around this question: "Which economic approach is the most efficient and fair to resolve utility issues surrounding the use of common or public property?" This lesson will explore, examine and analyze this perplexing question by engaging in an open-ended role play simulation.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Externalities,Benefit,Costs,Property Rights,Public Goods,Transaction Costs,Monopolies

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 Banks, Bankers, Banking
Students will demonstrate understanding of the processes associated with banking by role- playing as customers, tellers, and guards.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Division of Labor,Specialization,Savings,Economic Institutions

online How Labor Got Its Day
If you asked students what comes to mind first when they think of Labor Day, what do you think they would say? The last days of summer? A family picnic? Shopping the Labor Day sales? The purpose of this lesson is to broaden and deepen student understanding of the Labor Day holiday. Students will learn why workers organized unions during the nineteenth century to fight for higher pay and better wor...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Producers,Production,Labor,Labor Market,Labor Union,Profit,Insurance

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

online Buy A Bond, James!: A Lesson on U.S. Savings Bonds
Students will find out what savings are and will be introduced to U.S. Savings Bonds.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Role of Government,Savings

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