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We The Economy

Found in: math; social studies; 9-12

We The Economy is a series of 20 short (5-8 minutes) videos exploring key topics related to the U.S. economy for students in grades 10-12. The videos mix live-action, animation, and humor to tackle questions such as: What is the Economy? What is Money? What is the Role of our Government in the Economy? What is Globalization? And What Causes Inequality? Resources include lesson plans, extension activities, and student handouts. Lessons are aligned with standards in language arts, math, social studies, civics, and economics. Teachers must register (free) to download print resources.

Cave-O-Nomics explores how trade, marketing and base elements of the modern market economy may have started with three cave men: Ugg, Glugg and Tugg. The guide includes and interactive quiz and graphic. In the associated lesson, students divide into small groups to engage in a simulation and consider the Free Market System. A homework assignment asks the students to use information from the film to reflect on a quote form Ralph Waldo Emerson.

A Bee’s Invoice: The Hidden Value In Nature addresses why nature should be taken into account when looking at the economy as a whole. It examines the value of natural capital in the measure of the economy. In the lesson, small groups of students simulate competing logging companies trying to maximize profit while maintaining a healthy forest. An optional exercise includes drought-caused tree loss brought about by global warming. The student handout is used to record of the simulation.

Amazing Animated Film On The Debt And The Deficit distinguishes between national debt and deficit and explains how Congress and public officials use and manage debt. In the lesson, students work in small groups to negotiate a budget. They analyze the costs and benefits of increasing and decreasing taxes to raise and lower the federal deficit. The student handout is a graphic for displaying their budgets.

Print resources are available as Everything In One File (PDF 13 MB, 131 pgs) or as Discussion Guide (PDF 5.1 MB, 19 pgs) and 21 Companion Guides separately. The companion guides are 1-2 pages.


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