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Virtual Economics


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 21: Economic Growth and Development
Focus: High School Economics
Economic growth is measured by a rise in real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) over time. When a nation's production of goods and services rises faster than its population, real GDP per capita increases. That signals a rise in average income and the material standard of living. In other words, more production per person translates into more income and more consumption per perso...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic growth, Real GDP per capita, Investment, Production, Inputs, Human capital, Technology,

Unit 7: Lesson 43 - Why Are Some Nations Wealthy?
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students work in groups to examine data from several nations regarding size, natural resources, and population. Using these data, they try to identify the nations and predict whether each nation is rich or poor. Students rank the nations from richest to poorest. After the mystery nations are revealed, students discuss economists' findings about the factors that contribute most to long-term econ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic growth, Economic development, Natural resources, Physical capital, Productivity, Property rights, Saving and investment policy, Trade

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,

Lesson 8: GDP and Life Expectancy
Geography: Focus on Economics
Students construct choropleth maps based on a number of economic and social variables, then analyze the relationships among the variables. They describe the characteristics of countries with high and low GDP per capita, identify regions of high and low GDP per capita, and generate hypotheses about possible consequences of efforts to improve the health of people in Africa.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choropleth Maps, Gross Domestic Product Per Capita, Life Expectancy, Infant Mortality, Investment, Human Capital, Positive Relationship, Negative Relationship,

Unit 7: Lesson 19 - How Many Children Can Mother Earth Stand?
Economics and the Environment
Population statistics are introduced to students, presenting examples students can relate to their own lives (living space and family size).
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic Development, Economic Growth, Diminishing Returns, Technology, Productivity,

Lesson 11- Japan's Economic Miracle
World History: Focus on Economics
Students are introduced to a mystery about Japan's economic growth. They read a passage about economic growth and take part in a group discussion of how several facts of Japanese history are related to Japan's economic growth after World War II.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic Growth, Productivity, Capital, Human Capital, Interest Rates

Lesson 4: Financial Systems
Focus: Institutions and Markets
Students participate in a brief simulation to demonstrate the important role financial intermediaries play in promoting investment and economic growth in market economies. Through direct instruction, students learn some specialized terms related to financial markets. Then students participate in an activity to help them identify other financial institutions in a market economy.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Saving, Investment, Financial institutions, Interest rate, Financial/personal investment, Primark market, Secondary market, Economic growth, Technological change,

Unit 1: Lesson 1 - What If I Do Not Have the Skills and Knowledge I Need to Produce?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Teams of students use their limited knowledge to accomplish a challenging task. Most of the student teams will not be successful until they acquire the necessary knowledge. The students read one of two selected books in which the main character faces problems as a result of having limited skills and knowledge.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Abuelo, Barter, Benefits, Costs, Dodecagon, Human capital, Natural resources, Physical capital, Polygon, Produce, Production, Resources, Work ethic,

Lesson 8: Getting More or Using Less
Focus: High School Economics
Although the problem of scarcity can never be eliminated, finding ways to increase productivity can moderate it. Productivity is the amount of goods and services produced (output) per unit of productive resources used (input). Productivity can be increased by producing more goods and services with the same amount of resources, or by producing the same amount of goods and services with fewer reso...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Productivity, Specialization and division of labor, Investment in capital goods, Investment in human capital,

Unit 3: Lesson 15 - Why Do Some People Earn More Than Others?
Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide
Students examine and discuss visuals to identify an economic mystery regarding differences in income. They use the Guide to Economic Reasoning to analyze the problem and reach a tentative solution.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Choice, Economic system, Future consequences, Human capital, Incentives, Opportunity cost, Voluntary trade

Unit 1: Lesson 2 - How Can I Improve My Human Capital?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students read about the experiences of Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal 600 years ago. He organized a way to improve human capital, enabling him to accomplish his goals and enabling others to seek greater economic opportunities.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Human capital, Navigation, Physical capital, Specialist, Technology,

Lesson 5: Mystery Almanac
The Wide World of Trade
Working in groups, students participate in an activity to identify countries from around the world. Based on what they learn about these countries, students complete an Information Resources Chart. The goal is to have students recognize what information supplied about the countries can tell them about the countries' resource endowments and standards of living.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Productive resources, Economic system, Natural resources, Human resources, Capital goods, Human capital, Investment in human capital, Gross domestic product, Per capita gross domestic product,

Unit 7: Lesson 20 - Toward a Sustainable Future?
Economics and the Environment
Students make choices concerning their own standard of living. The choice activity shows why there tends to be a positive relationship between economic development and environment quality.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Sustainable Development, Economic Development, Capital, Technology, Technological Advance, Standard of Living,

Lesson 3 - Productivity in the Fertile Crescent
Old MacDonald to Uncle Sam: Lesson Plans from Writers around the World
In this lesson, students participate in three rounds of a simulation in which they are merchants who must keep written records on their trades. In Round 1 they do not have some required skills or knowledge and are unable to produce written records. They must rely on scribes. In Round 2 the merchants use new information about Babylonia numerals and the Phoenician alphabet and receive training in...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Labor productivity, Human capital, Technological change, Capital goods,

Lesson 3 - Economics and Population Demographics
Middle School World Geography: Focus on Economics
In this lesson, the students use data and graphs to analyze and compare the populations and standards of living for different countries. The students begin by building a population pyramid of the children in their families over three generations. They then analyze population pyramids to describe the demographic structure of different countries' populations and to analyze the implications of these ...
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Economics, Gross domestic product, Gross domestic product per capita, Standard of living, Labor productivity, Human capital, Intermediate goods

Lesson 8 - Ideas That Changed the World
Middle School World Geography: Focus on Economics
In this lesson, the students learn about productivity and its connection to the standard of living. They learn about inventions that changed the world. The students make predictions about recent inventions and the impact of these inventions on productivity, standard of living and quality of life.
Grade(s): 6-8
Concepts: Technological change, Productivity, Capital goods (resources), Human capital, Standard of living

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

Section 2: Financial Institutions
Your Credit Counts Challenge: Trainer's Guide
Participants identify the advantages and disadvantages of using financial services from alternative financial institutions and services from mainstream banks. Participants identify the services provided by mainstream financial institutions including banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, and so forth. Participants identify insurance (including homeowner's, renter's, health, and auto insurance) ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic wants, Goods, Services, Entrepreneurs, Productive resources (natural capital and human resources), Work skills (human capital), Income

Unit 3: Lesson 9 - What Results When People Use Improved Physical Capital Resources?
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 5-6 - Teacher's Resource Manual
Students learn that using technologies increase production during a business simulation.
Grade(s): 5.6
Concepts: Entrepreneurship, Human capital, Industrial Revolution, Invention, Physical capital, Production, Technology


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 Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 18, 2016 is Martin Luther King Day. Students can explore the history behind this day and this charismatic man by following the links below. By completing the lesson which follows, students will learn that Civil Rights legislation (developed thanks, in part, to MLK) actually occurred after the beginnings of the development of the black middle class and did not precede it.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Human Capital,Investment

online Wages and Me
Students explore the reasons for differences in the wages for several occupations. Then students are guided through the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to find information about their potential careers and wage rates nationally and in their own states.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Income,Supply,Human Capital,Investment

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 Economic Sectors and International Development
Using poverty rate as a measure of development, students select countries five at a time to compare how resources are allocated to three economic sectors (agriculture, industrial, service). After making comparisons, students will identify patterns in which sector is emphasized by the wealthiest countries, and will look for patterns in the geographic distribution of countries.
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic Equity,Economic Growth

online Is Globalization a Dirty Word?
Is globalization a dirty word? The shocking decision by Great Britain to leave the European Union seems to cast doubt on the viability of globalization. In this lesson you will access several types of information about the World Bank report, including a video file, a PowerPoint slide show, and a press release. Your objective is to determine the benefits of globalization and also to consider the co...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Economic Growth,Free Trade,Globalization

online Henry Ford and the Model T: A Case Study in Productivity (Part 3)
When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, it is doubtful even he realized the far reaching impact such an achievement would have on life in the U.S. and eventually, the world. Ford’s use of mass production strategies to manufacture the Model T revolutionized industrial manufacturing and initiated a new era in personal transportati...
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Demand,Economic Growth,Entrepreneurship,Equilibrium Price,Markets,Price,Quantity Demanded,Quantity Supplied,Supply,Determinants of Demand,Determinants of Supply,Productivity,Profit

online Spotlighting Entrepreneurs: A Technology "iCon"
What better way to address Common Core standards in Reading Informational Text than by meeting a gentleman that changed the world of technology!
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Business,Economic Growth,Entrepreneurship,Benefit,Costs,Entrepreneur,Profit,Risk

online LeBron James, The Cavaliers, and Derived Demand
PBS video author Paul Solman reports that LeBron James has added $200 million in value to the city of Cleveland since 2003. His presence brings in $100 million each year to the workers and local businesses surrounding the NBA team. The concept of utilitarianism states that the action which is moral is one, which produces the most good. In the minds of most individuals in Cleveland, the most good ...
Grade(s): 9-12
Concepts: Derived Demand,Labor Market

online A Fair Wage
Income for most people is determined by the market value of the productive resources they sell. What workers earn depends, primarily, on the market value of what they produce and how productive they are.
Grade(s): 6-8, 9-12
Concepts: Accounting Profit,Human Resources,Human Capital,Investment,Labor,Labor Market,Wage,Prices of Inputs,Accounting Loss

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