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Virtual Economics


Lesson 12 - Building Wealth over the Long Term
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students are introduced to the case of Charlayne, a woman who becomes, accidentally, a millionaire. Charlayne's success, the students learn, was unexpected, but not a miracle. It can be explained by three widely understood rules for building wealth over the long term: saving early, buying and holding, and diversifying. The lesson uses Charlayne's decisions to illustrate each of these rules. It...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Compound interest, Diversification, Forms of saving and investing, Reward, Risk

Lesson 6 - What Is a Bond?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
In this lesson the students learn what bonds are and how bonds work. They learn the basic terminology related to bonds and participate in a simulation activity aimed at showing that bonds are certificates of indebtedness, similar to an IOU note. Finally, the students explore credit ratings and calculate average coupon rates for various bond ratings in order to determine the relationship between ra...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Bond, Bond rating, Coupon, Coupon bond, Coupon rate, Default, Face value, Maturity date, Par value, Risk, Zero-coupon bond

Unit 7: Lesson 1 - Saving and Investing in Razorback
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
In this saving and investment simulation small groups of students decide how they would invest $3,000, given a list of 10 possibilities. They learn how much they earned on their investments, taking into account not only the rate of returns on the savings but also the financial consequences of investments that were not made.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Profit, Savings, Investment,

Lesson 23 - Investing Involves Decision Making
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
This lesson provides an overall review and an opportunity for students to apply many of the concepts stressed in earlier lessons. The students examine different sorts of risk that come with investments. They are introduced to a fivestep decision-making model. After practicing with it, they apply the model in a simulation activity in which they act as financial advisors, offering financial advice i...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Bonds, Capital gain, Certificate of deposit, Dividend, Diversification, Liquidity, Money market account, Mutual funds, Principal, Rate of return, Risk, Savings account, Stocks

Lesson 16 - What We've Learned
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
This lesson features a game in which the students review key vocabulary words and concepts presented in earlier lessons. The game is called Flyswatter Review. The teacher divides the class into two teams. Using transparencies, the teacher projects financial terms from the visuals onto a screen or wall. The teams compete to select the correct definition.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Stock Market, Stock, Mutual Fund, Risk, Liquidity, Liquidity Risk

Lesson 2 - Investors and Investments
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
In this lesson the students explore different types of investments, some of which are unconventional, in order to grasp the basic idea that investment involves trading off present benefits for future satisfaction. The students also apply the criteria of risk, return and liquidity to define more precisely the meaning of investing.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Investing, Investment, Liquidity, Return, Risk

Theme 3: Lesson 9 - There Is No Free Lunch in Investing
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
Risk is inherent in all investments. In investing, there are risks you cannot control. However, other risks can be controlled. The key is to develop a risk-reward ratio with which you are comfortable. The higher the risk, the greater the potential reward. This is why there is no free lunch in investing. In this lesson, students learn about five types of risk and then compare the risks and re...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Money management, Real vs. Nominal, Risk, Investing, Savers, Saving, Investment

Lesson 7- The Great Tulip Boom
World History: Focus on Economics
The teacher displays a transparency comparing the prices of many goods in the 1600s in the Netherlands to prices paid for rare tulip bulbs during the Great Tulip Boom of the 1630s. Students perform a simulation of the boom and write a short essay expressing their personal feelings about the relationship between risk and rates of return.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Financial Investment, Rate of Return, Risk, Speculation

Lesson 14 - Savings and Personal Investments: If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
Personal Decision Making: Focus on Economics
Students view a transparency showing the difference between economics definitions and personal finance definitions of the terms capital and investment. They read and discuss a handout listing four basic rules for wise investment decisions.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Capital, Investment, Savings, Opportunity cost, Securities, Stocks, Bonds, Mutual funds, Savings accounts, Certificates of deposit, Risk versus return, Liquidity,

Lesson 7 - What Are Mutual Funds?
Learning, Earning and Investing: High School
The students form class investment clubs that work much in the way mutual funds do. They invest $3,000 (300 shares at $10 a share) in up to six stocks. One year later they revalue their shares and determine whether a share in their class investment clubs has increased or decreased in value. Finally, they read about mutual funds and learn that the concept behind mutual funds is similar to the conce...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Diversification, Liquidity, Load, Mutual fund, Net asset value, Risk and reward

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 7: Why Middlemen Matter: The Role of Financial Institutions in a Market Economy
From Plan to Market: Teaching Ideas for Social Studies, Economics, and Business Classes
Students participate in a simulation and analyze two case studies emphasizing the importance of the development of financial institutions in the transition economies.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Banks, Financial Institutions, Interest Rates, Investment, Search Costs, Middlemen

Lesson 15 - What Can Yesterday's Choices Tell Us about Tomorrow?
United States History: Focus on Economics
Students work in small groups to write brief speeches. Panelists present those speeches and then respond to questions from a student audience.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Choice, Benefits and costs, Risk

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',

Unit 3: Lesson 1 - The Changing U.S. Economy
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the 20th Century
Students work in groups to examine economic data and use the Handy Dandy Guide to explain the nature and causes of economic growth in the United States after the Civil War. They discuss a handout that summarizes many of the factors involved in stimulating growth. In conclusion students discuss recent innovators.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentives, Profit, Substitution, Innovation, Economic growth, Labor, Investment,

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 7: The Money Maze
Economies in Transition: Command to Market
In this lesson, students use "greenbacks" to purchase the spring for a ballpoint pen from the teacher. They are required to use the pen to complete a worksheet. In order to purchase the spring, they must find someone in the school who will lend them "greenbacks." Students then learn about the importance of financial markets and the lack of these markets in many transition economies.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Financial Intermediaries, Financial Capital Market, Capital, Investment

Lesson 1: What Is an Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Economy: Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson, students will define entrepreneurship; describe entrepreneurial attributes demonstrated by successful entrepreneurs; and, compare personal attributes with attributes generally common to successful entrepreneurs.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Innovative, Maximize, Business firms, Human capital, Labor, Profit

Unit 6: Lesson 6 - What is Investment?
United States History: Eyes on the Economy - Through the Civil War
Students read an activity about a fictitious farmer of the early 1800s who used earnings from his labor to buy a farm and then used income from the farm to increase his wealth in the future. Students then answer questions about the farmer's decision.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Productive resources, Investment,

Theme 1: Lesson 1 - How to Really Be a Millionaire
Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Grades 9-12 - Teacher Guide
This lesson is designed to get students interested in personal finance. Financial planning may seem dull and laborious, but finding out how to become a millionaire is an activity that tends to stir up considerable interest. This lesson shows the students that they are unlikely to achieve wealth without self-discipline. Achieving personal wealth involves planning and making sound choices, such a...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: money management, saving, investing, compound interest


online Pop Goes the Housing Bubble
In this lesson, students will learn about a speculative bubble within the context of the U.S. real estate market.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Credit,Decision Making,Incentive,Investment,Risk,Debt,Borrow,Asset,Collateral,Lender,Real Estate

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 Earning Credit
Students participate in a series of activities that provide them with a simulated credit score and an auto loan interest rate based on their credit score. Then they learn to use compound interest and amortization schedules to calculate the real cost of buying a car, and they compare the total cost of buying a car for individuals with high and low credit scores. At the conclusion, students have a s...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Credit,Interest Rate,Risk,Compound Interest,Credit Report,Principal,Simple Interest

online Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution (Part 1)
Advancements in transportation have played a key role in the growth of our nation. U.S.government policies have also had a considerable impact on the development of transport as we know it today. In this series of three lessons,the students examine transportation and its impact on our nation (and vice versa) since the United States declared its independence in 1776. Lesson 1 focuses on improvement...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Economic Growth,Incentive,Inventors,Markets,Non-price Determinants,Price,Role of Government,Specialization,Supply,Technological Changes,Costs,Determinants of Supply,Gains from Trade,Investment,Standard of Living,Transaction Costs,Innovation

online Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution (Part 2)
Advancements in transportation have played a key role in the growth of our nation. U.S.government policies have also had a considerable impact on the development of transport as we know it today. In this series of three lessons, the students examine the advancements in automobiles, roads, airlines and airports.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Exports,Gross Domestic Product (GDP),Incentive,Inventors,Markets,Price,Specialization,Technological Changes,Benefit,Costs,Imports,Investment,Profit,Innovation

online Business Ownership: The Franchise Option
Students explore an alternative to starting a business from scratch – investing in a franchise. They begin by considering the pros and cons of a franchise and whether this form of business is an option that would fit their personality and needs. Students then research and analyze franchise opportunities, ultimately selecting one that they think they might be able to successfully op...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Business,Choice,Decision Making,Entrepreneurship,Benefit,Costs,Legal Forms of Business,Risk

online The Entepreneur in you?
Throughout this lesson students take note of the role of risk and incentives as factors found in all entrepreneurial pursuits. They will analyze, compare and evaluate personal characteristics of entrepreneurs. They will also develop a greater self-understanding as they determine if they have the traits found in successful entrepreneurs. Finally, students set goals, which will help them to ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Entrepreneurship,Incentive,Risk

online Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution (Part 3)
Advancements in transportation have played a key role in the growth of our nation. U.S. government policies have also had a considerable impact on the development of transport as we know it today. In this series of three lessons, the students examine transportation and its impact on our nation (and vice versa) since the United States declared its independence in 1776. Lesson 1 focuses on improvem...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Competition,Incentive,Inventors,Profit Motive,Role of Government,Technological Changes,Investment,Profit,Property Rights,Innovation

online Three Types of Business Organizations
In this lesson, students research the three basic types of business organization: sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Considering the advantages and disadvantages of each, they function as consultants offering advice on which form of business is best suited for different business scenarios. The case studies all feature real- life entrepreneurs who started businesses produ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Business,Entrepreneurship,Entrepreneur,Legal Forms of Business,Risk

online Timing Is Everything
In the first part of the lesson students examine the incentives and opportunity costs of spending and saving in a teacher directed lesson. The remainder of the lesson is an interactive web site. Students work through problems that demonstrate the power of compound interest.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Incentive,Interest Rate,Opportunity Cost,Interest,Savings

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