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Virtual Economics


Lesson 11 - Money and Inflation
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Students observe a simple demonstration to determine the functions that money performs. They next participate in two rounds of an auction illustrating how increases in the money supply lead to inflation. They view an active demonstration of the equation MV = PQ to understand the relationship among the variables and the intent of monetary policy. This lesson may be used as either an introduction to...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Federal Reserve System, Functions of money, Inflation, Monetary policy, Money, MV = PQ

Unit 7: Lesson 2 - What Role Does Money Play?
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
The teacher explains the concepts of money and medium of exchange and demonstrates, through a simulation activity, how the money supply increases when banks make loans.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money, Money supply, Specialization, Exchange, Medium of exchange,

Lesson 2 - Vacation Vexation
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 6-8
In this lesson, the students listen to the story of an American girl who is planning a trip to Mexico. They learn about foreign exchange and compare exchange rates to determine if one currency has appreciated or depreciated against another currency. Using proportional reasoning, they determine the monetary effects of currency appreciation and depreciation. They analyze how changes in exchange rate...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Exchange rates, Foreign exchange market, Currency

Lesson 1 - Happy Deal?
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 6-8
In this lesson, the students learn about currencies used in selected countries. They compare the prices of a Big Mac© in different countries and convert the prices into U.S. dollars, using exchange rates. The students determine in which country a Big Mac© is cheapest (a Happy Deal) and most expensive, in terms of U.S. dollars. Finally, the students calculate the percentage of daily incom...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Gross domestic product (GDP), Price, Exchange rates, Currency

Lesson 7: Let's Trade
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 3-4
Barter is the direct exchange of goods and services between people, without using money. People voluntarily exchange goods and services because they expect to be better off after the exchange. When people use barter to facilitate exchange, a "double coincidence of wants" must occur, that is, a person who wants to trade a good or service must find a trading partner who wants that good or service ...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Barter, Specialization, Interdependence,

Lesson 8: Money Is What Money Does
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 3-4
The basic purpose of money is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. For money to have value, it must be acceptable by a large number of people. Money serves as a medium of exchange; that is, people exchange money for goods and services and resources. Money also functions as a measure of value. People compare the value of goods and services by the prices charged for those items. Si...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Money, Barter, Exchange, Functions of money, Medium of exchange, Standards of value, Store of value,

Unit 5: Lesson 2 - The Constitution: Ground Rules for the Economy
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students in small groups examine key economic clauses in the U.S. Constitution and discuss contemporary examples.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Private property, Trade, Money, Taxation, Innovation,

Unit 6: Lesson 3 - The Federal Reserve System is Established
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
The teacher shows a visual that demonstrates how reserves of small, medium size and large U.S. banks were interrelated in the 19th century. The teacher distributes a handout that demonstrates how many panics spread throughout the U.S. banking system. Students use two handouts that explain how the establishment of the Federal Reserve System reduced the problems of bank failure and the money panic...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money, Fractional reserve banking, Bank reserves,

Unit 7: Lesson 1 - Whatdunit? The Great Depression Mystery
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students read a brief passage posing the basic question about the Great Depression: How did it happen? A brief simulation activity shows how unemployment in one part of the economy can lead to unemployment in other parts of the economy. With the aid of two visuals, the teacher discusses the reduction in the stock of money caused by bank failures from 1930 to 1933.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Recession, Depression, Demand, Income, Multiplier, Money, Fractional reserve banking, Federal reserve system,

Theme 3: Lesson 8 - How Would You Like to Pay?
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, students are introduced to various methods of payment, such as cash, check, debit card, money order, and credit card. They learn some of the advantages and disadvantages of each method of payment. They also practice writing a check and recording information in a check register.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Consumer, Cash, Check, Credit card, Debit card, Money order,

Section 3: Managing Credit
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will identify the advantages and disadvantages of using credit. Participants will recognize what credit is, what it costs, and the basic steps involved in obtaining credit. Participants will identify the key features of a credit report and credit scoring. Participants will examine ways to improve their credit scores. Participants will make distinctions between debit cards and cred...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money, Economic wants, Coins, Paper money, The value of money, Functions of money, Choices, Work skills (human capital)

Unit 3: Lesson 16 - Making Choices About Saving and Investing
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
This lesson introduces the distinction between savings and the investment. It demonstrates how the price of money --the interest rate--is critical to making the right savings and investment choices. It explains when, under various conditions, it is or is not in people's best interest to save.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Inflation, Interest, Investment, Loanable funds market, Purchasing power, Real interest, Savings

Lesson 14 - Exchange Rates: Money Around the World
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Students participate in two auctions to demonstrate the determination of flexible exchange rates and the need for foreign currency to purchase goods from other countries. In the first auction, the students may buy goods produced only in their own countries. In the second auction, the students may buy foreign goods but must first exchange currency in order to do so. They discuss the results of the ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Exchange rates, Fixed exchange rates, Flexible (floating) exchange rates, Foreign-exchange markets, Supply and demand for foreign currency

Lesson 10: Why Trade Money?
The Wide World of Trade
In this lesson, students imagine a visit to the Mall of the World, a large international mall with shops that are owned and operated by people in other countries. Students choose items to eat at the Wide World of Taste, an international food court. Prices are stated in the currencies used by the countries represented, and students must use exchange rates to determine how much their lunches will ...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Foreign exchange, Exchange rate, Currency appreciation, Currency depreciation,

Unit 4: Lesson 1 - Understanding the Colonial Economy
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students examine data on visuals to gain an overview of the colonial economy. Next, they read and discuss a handout to gain a fuller picture. The lesson concludes with several applications presented in an activity.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Trade, Market, Specialization, Choice,

Unit 1: Lesson 2 - You in the Economy
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work- Grades 7-8 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students participate in a consumer-testing activity to learn that they weight costs and benefits when they make economic decisions.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Benefit, Consumer, Cost, Economy, Exchange, Market,

Unit 4: Lesson 2 - The Costs and Benefits of Independence
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
This lesson begins with discussion of an economic mystery. Students read and discuss information in a handout to solve a mystery.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Trade, Taxation, Costs, Benefits,

Unit 7: Lesson 3 - Boom and Bust in the 1830s
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students read Activity 1 and use the Tables in Activity 1 to answer questions. Following the discovery that the increase in the money supply, 1834-1837, was caused primarily by increases in specie, students read Activity 2, which describes the causes of that specie increase and the causes of the Panic of 1837.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money supply, Specie, Reserves, Inflation, Depression,

Lesson 22 - Investing Internationally: Currency Value Changes
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students examine the costs and benefits of international investing. They study the case of an investor named Lizzy who buys shares in a European mutual fund. Lizzy is surprised to learn that, while her international investment earned an excellent return in euros, she still lost money. How could that happen? Lizzie learns that the answer lies in understanding how changes in international curren...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Currency markets, Demand for currency, Diversification, Exchange rate, Supply of currency

Lesson 15: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
Eleven-year-old Claudia Kincaid feels that too much responsibility has been placed on her at home. To make her family appreciate her more, she decides to run away from home. Claudia persuades her younger brother, Jamie, to accompany her on a trip to a most unlikely place -- the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Scarcity, Savings, Price, Inflation, Goods and Services, Opportunity Cost, Interdependence


online One is Silver and the Other's Gold
Students learn about the money supply and that it can affect the value of money. Students investigate this in the 1896 presidential election (Bryan vs. McKinley, Free Silver vs. Gold Standard) and examine a political cartoon that depicts how some people felt about this issue. Students answer questions about what they would do with more money and what might happen if the money supply increa...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Functions of Money,Inflation,Money Supply,Price,Role of Government,Deflation

online Agent Pincher: The Case of the UFO
Agent Pincher: The Case of the UFO--Unfamiliar Foreign Objects. That is what currency from another country may look like. Sometimes when people first try to use money from another country, they feel like they are playing with toy money-it is a different size, color, and shape, compared to one's own national currency, and it often comes with unfamiliar writing. As a special agent, your job is get ...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Exchange,Exchange Rate,Exports,Currency,Imports,Money

online The Family Vacation
Students will take a surprise trip around the world. As they travel, they will use clues to discover where they are going. They will then figure out how much money they have spent in U.S. dollars, using exchange rates.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Exchange,Exchange Rate,Money

online President Jackson and the Veto of the Second National Bank
ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Could the conflict over the Second National Bank have been resolved in a way that supported the values advocated by both President Jackson and Congress?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money Supply,Definition of Money,Monetary Policy,Money,Risk,Government Failure,Market Failures,Bank,Fraud Risk,Paper Money,Characteristics of Money

online It's a Not So Wonderful Life
In this lesson students learn about banks and banking. The study the fractional reserve system, and the role the Fed plays in the money creation process.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Banking,Central Banking System,Money Supply,Supply,Money,Savers

online The Story of Jack and the Bank Stalk
Fairy tales have always been used to give lessons about life. The story of Jack and the Bean Stalk is a good lesson about the importance of knowing about money and banks. The story of Jack asks the question, "What is money?"
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Exchange,Functions of Money,Interest Rate,Opportunity Cost,Currency,Money,Characteristics of Money

online Why do we need money? Think about Ebay!
The students investigate money--its purpose and functions. They complete an exercise, using the online acution site Ebay, to learn why money is critical to an economy.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Barter,Exchange Rate,Markets,Price

online Pennies Make Cents
Students will review the history of trade before money and will investigate the history of money. Students will locate information about the first coin authorized by the United States and will learn about the penny.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Barter,Exchange,Functions of Money,Characteristics of Money

online Clickety Clack, Let's Keep Track!
This lesson will show students the importance of keeping track of their savings.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Banking,Budget,Choice,Economic Security,Functions of Money,Money Management,Savings

online What Face do you Use?
The students will recognize that in order to facilitate the exchange of goods and services, most nations create currency for use as money. They will examine the characteristics of money by comparing and contrasting examples of U.S. and world currencies. Imagining that their classroom is a country, students choose whom to honor and what images to depict as they create their own form of paper money.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Exchange,Functions of Money,Characteristics of Money

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