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Understanding the Stock Market

Found in: mathematics, social studies, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Recent activity in international stock markets demonstrated how interconnected the economies of nations have become. The following lessons, activities, resources, and videos provide a basic understanding of stocks and the market.

Lesson Plans:

  • How Are Stock Prices Determined? ( PDF, 1.7 MB, 295 pgs. Intermediate students discover that prices are determined by the behavior of many individuals in the market. Scroll to lesson six, p. 46.
  • NYSE Made Easy Students in grades 6-12 learn terms associated with the New York Stock Exchange and how to read a stock market report found in newspapers or online.
  • Here's Your Chance to Make Millions in the Stock Market (Part 1) In Part 1, students in grades 9-12 learn how efficient markets affect investor's efforts to time the stock market. Parts II and III are an interactive historical simulation that gives students a chance to make investment decisions.
  • Getting Fancy: The Bulls, The Bears, And The Pigs! ( PDF, 1.7 MB, 295 pgs.) Advanced students learn how buying on margin and selling short can increase potential gains on stock purchases, but at the risk of greater potential losses. Scroll to lesson nine, p. 92.

  • Teaching Financial Crises Eight lessons for students in grades 9-12 that examine the financial crisis of 2007. Lessons can be viewed online. Visuals can be downloaded. Aligned to economics standards. A print version can be purchased.

Activities & Games:

  • Play A Virtual Market Starting with a virtual fortune, students can trade traditional stocks or use call options.
  • The Stock Market Game An online simulation of global capital markets for students in grades 4-12. Registration is free. A Teacher Support Center is provided and Apps are available. The Stock Market Game Teacher’s Guide ( PDF, 705 KB, 20 pgs.) includes suggestions for extended activities.

Background Resources:

Online Courses:



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