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Virtual Economics


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

Section 4: A Roof Over Your Head
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants will understand the benefits and drawbacks of homeownership. Participants will understand the process of buying a home, from before house-hunting to closing and occupancy. Participants will understand the risks of speculating with money being saved toward a down payment and the risks presented by refinancing with predatory lenders.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Alternatives, Benefits, Costs, Choice, Decisions, Opportunity cost, Spending, Saving

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,

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 11: The Lancaster Landfill
Geography: Focus on Economics
Students participate in a simulated town meeting called to consider proposed solutions to the problem of groundwater contamination. Hazardous waste accumulated in a landfill over many years is creating the problem. The landfill is no longer in use, but it poses a risk to fish, wildlife, and people living nearby. Each student is provided with a specific role and a point of view.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Environment, Government Regulation, Hazardous Waste, Third Party Costs, Property Rights, Market Mechanism, Technology,

Unit 3: Lesson 9 - How Are Economic Solutions to Pollution Different from Political Solutions?
Civics and Government: Focus on Economics
After students have developed an understanding of externalities, they examine a case study of pollution in Los Angeles and determine a variety of solutions for this problem. The costs and benefits of these solutions are explored.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Externalities, role of government, Incentives,

Theme 1: Lesson 2 - The Economic Way of Thinking
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
Lesson 2 introduces students to the economic reasoning process or the "economic way of thinking." Students reason through two situations, using The Handy Dandy Guide, a primer on economic reasoning.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Opportunity cost, Wants, Cost/benefit analysis, Decision making, Incentives

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

Theme 1: Lesson 3 - Decision Making
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, students learn that we must make decisions because resources are limited and wants are unlimited. Students see that sound decision making involves identifying criteria and using those criteria to make decisions. Students use a decision-making grid to understand how such a grid can be used to choose a college. They then use a similar grid to decide what personal computer to buy.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Opportunity cost, Wants, Cost/benefit analysis, Decision making

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

Lesson 12: Autonomics
Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 9-12
This lesson develops the idea of opportunity cost by examining the costs of owning and operating an automobile. Opportunity cost is the value of the next best alternative when a choice is made.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Total cost, Variable costs, Fixed costs, Opportunity cost,

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

Lesson 3 - Using Economic Reasoning To Solve Mysteries
Economics in Action: 14 Greatest Hits for Teaching High School Economics
Students ponder an economic mystery: Why do professional athletes, many of whom never finish college, earn far higher salaries than people who perform worthy services such as teachers and firefighters? The students discuss various explanations for this seemingly nonsensical inequity and then examine a set of clues and the principles of economic reasoning to help them arrive at a solution for the...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Economic reasoning, Incentives, 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

Lesson 15 - Why Don't People Save?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students examine risk-oriented behavior, considering why people often engage in behavior that is dangerous or unhealthy. They are introduced to the concept of cost/benefit analysis and asked to apply what they learn to questions about saving. They generate lists of savings goals and categorize those goals as short-term, medium-term and long-term. They learn why long-term goals are more difficu...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Benefits, Costs, Goals, Incentives, Interest, Long-term goal, Medium-term goal, Opportunity cost, Saving, Short-term goal

Lesson 9 - Prohibition Then; MADD Today
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students read short histories of Prohibition and MADD and work in small groups to evaluate the consequences of these policies on consumers' behavior.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Costs/benefits, Incentives, Externalities (social consequences)

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

Unit 6: Lesson 1 - The Tale of the Corset and the Necktie
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students will view clothing worn by men and women throughout history and explain how the making of fashion choices is behavior consistent with the HDG.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Cost, Consumer, Choice, Voluntary exchange,

Unit 4: Lesson 20 - Why Helping Yourself Helps Others
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine and discuss visuals to identify an economic mystery regarding greed and self-interest. They use economic reasoning to analyze the mystery and reach a tentative explanation.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Competition, Economic system, Future consequences, Incentives, Market economy, Opportunity cost, Voluntary trade

Lesson 1 - Why Insurance and How Does It Work?
Virtual Economics: Insurance Lessons
This lesson uses readings and group work to describe the risks that are a part of everyone's life. It then elaborates on five ways to handle risk. Two of these ways are to share and transfer risk, which is the purpose of insurance.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Avoiding risk, Decision making, Insurance, Opportunity cost, Premium, Probability, Reducing risk, Retaining risk, Risk, Sharing risk, Transferring risk,


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

online Opportunity Cost
Consumers are faced with tough choices because so many innovative and exciting products and services are available. Therefore, engraining a decision-making process that includes considering of opportunity cost is necessary to shape future consumer behavior.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Budget,Choice,Consumers,Decision Making,Interest Rate,Investing,Opportunity Cost,Saving,Benefit,Costs,Interest,Money,Wants,Savings,Save,Savers

online What's the Cost of Spending and Saving?
This lesson examines the benefits and opportunity cost of spending and saving. The students learn how compound interest makes savings grow. Compounding provides an incentive to save and invest early. The benefits of saving and investing when you are young can increase substantially over time when funds are allowed to compound.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Interest Rate,Opportunity Cost,Saving,Investment,Compounding,Rate of Return,Rule of 72,Spend

online China - Where will they fit in the world economy?
With its, emerging middle class, its new markets, and a new emphasis on increasing its technology base, where is China going to fit in the world economy?
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Consumers,Demand,Economic Freedom,Goods

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 Q T Pi Fashions - Learning About Credit Card Use
Credit cards are convenient, user friendly, and at times dangerous. In this lesson students learn the joys and dangers of using credit as they help Credit, the main character in this activity, solve her credit problems.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Choice,Consumer Economics,Consumers,Credit,Decision Making,Incentive,Interest Rate,Money Management

online Why cities provide tax breaks even when they are strapped for revenue
Like the state and federal government, local governments offer tax incentives to businesses to help solve economic and/or environmental problems. In this lesson students will explore the web sites of three different cities and determine what incentives are offered and what problems they are trying to solve. They will also be asked to determine if the benefits gained from the incentives off...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Externalities,Incentive,Role of Government,Taxation,Communities and Cities

online "Should You Learn to Fly?"
Students will define opportunity cost, and with this in mind students will list various career choices and salaries and calculate future value of money
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Inflation,Opportunity Cost,Deflation

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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