Recommended Econ Lessons and Resources

This is an ongoing list of link and resources for teachers and teacher educators

Advertisements and you gets at critical consumerism, ethical production and supply and demand as does sensible consumers

Producing digital information (gets at what it means to be a producer)

When women stopped coding (the power of advertising)

Teaching economics as if people mattered

Jobs and gender stereotypes 

Making cents of privilege 

Tortilla factory  

Potato & great depression 

teaching economics as if people mattered. Activities for teaching modern economic problems.

The cost of bananas 

Planet money makes a Tshirt 

River pollution

Millions and Billions

I think this does a great job with conceptual understanding and incorporating math

Mining for chocolate (lots of variations on this). Gets at consumption, production, and opportunity cost. I pair with “How the Cookie Crumbled” and relate back to Carter Reads the Newspaper (mining) and African American miners in WV MFC- We relate to current-day cobalt mining and lithium batteries.

Disposal of Nuclear waste and in the U.S.

Speaking of energy and fossil fuels, I combine econ, civics and geography to teach about the Colonial Pipeline (which recently burst and is located near Atlanta). We look at their mission statement and talk about corporate citizenship. We then talk about the Dakota Access Pipeline.

I like to use the story of the shoes and the ducks to discuss consumerism, the economics of shipping, the changing nature of manufacturing, distance, etc

Being from city that finds itself in the path of hurricanes, I’m interested in the ethics of pricing. We talk about this article/argument in favor of “price gouging” and discuss options and alternatives

Goods and services sort. This is an activity I see teachers do a lot. I like to really push on this activity after students sort into 2 piles. For example, some will put a car in a “both” pile because as an uber it could perform a service. School and national parks are public goods, which leads us to discuss public and private and what is and what should be, private meaning the rights of exclusion and disposal. I’ll have an iPhone in the mix and we will discuss how the American taxpayer financed their R&D, asking if this changes their perception of We talk about hospitals, schools, the military, libraries, parks etc.

Who gets the tickets? This is based on a real thing that happened while I was teaching. The local high school is going to the playoffs and people are excited. My kids were saying they were for sure going because their sibling or cousin played on the team. Yet, they didn’t have a ticket, they assumed they would go. This led us to talk about how seats should be distributed fairly. I setup a scenario w/my PSTs, who play the role of different interest groups who want to attend (sponsors, students, teachers, family, townspeople). They advocate for their right to attend. Then, groups write and present a proposal for ticket allocation to the principal. We talk about other examples of allocation in their lives. Some bring up scholarships or graduation tickets. When I was at UGA this helped us consider the economics of athletics and how tickets were allocated, finding that despite the narrative that “everybody goes to the games” in a stadium of 90,000 seats only about 11,000 seats were reserved for students. This gets us talking about exclusivity and perception of value. I do another activity with a snickers bar and how to allocate it among a group. The students are always way more altruistic than the standards (which for us is 2nd grade) and we discuss fairness, equity and meeting needs. For example, a lottery may be the most “fair” because everyone has an equal chance to get it, but it’s not great at getting the snickers to students who would benefit most from it-those that are actually hungry or didn’t eat breakfast (or lunch) that day. Some will also give up their claim to it, which is not something our standards talk about.

Some articles and lessons I like related to econ:

One of my very favorites: Math Club Problem Posing

My mom’s job is important

Video about yoga, property and copyright law from our “Yoga as civic engagement” program at KSU

NPR forgotten history of how the U.S. gov’t segregated America (gets at wealth building, public programs and property rights)

Ducks overboard and

Vietnam War and containerization

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