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Interactive Tool: The Economic Way of Thinking


Be an Energy Saver

This lesson focuses on the scarce and nonrenewable nature of fossil fuels in order to stimulate student thinking about energy conservation. It emphasizes the fact that saving energy can be good for the wallet as well as the earth's future. Students play a memory game that challenges them to find people-powered substitutes for things that use electricity and gas. Students then use the federally-mandated EnergyGuide labels to estimate the cost savings of energy- efficient home appliances. In a final activity, students explore positive and negative economic incentives that motivate people to conserve energy. Many federal energy-related programs and policies are featured in this lesson. These include, besides the Energy Guide label, EnergyStar certification, the Fuel Economy Guide for motor vehicles, and a diverse collection of taxes, tax breaks and subsidies. In this lesson, students examine options for reducing their dependence on energy resources, especially by substituting people power for other forms of energy and purchasing energy efficient home appliances. Students also explore some of the government programs that are influencing consumer choices in the marketplace.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 03/11/2004

Marketplace: Doing Business in Afghanistan

In May 2002, delegates from governments, international companies, and financial institutions met at a United Nations conference in Tehran to discuss the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Afghanistan's officials say that to create a viable economy and a stable society, the country must recreate basic infrastructures --and it requires foreign investment to do so. But will businesses want to invest in Afghanistan? Correspondent Borzou Daragahi recently traveled to Afghanistan's business centers to see what life is like for the foreign entrepreneur.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 02/26/2009

Chevy Volt...It’s Electric!

The costs and benefits of owning an electric or hybrid car will be evaluated in this lesson. By reading and researching the history of the production of electric cars, the lesson allows students to understand how this market has developed. Specifically, the evaluation will focus on the Chevy Volt and its attempt to compete in a constantly evolving market of automobiles. Through this lesson, students will attempt to decide whether the Volt can be competitive in price and range, as well as what incentives need to be provided to make it a more appealing purchase to consumers. There have also been several changes made to the aerodynamics of the prototype of the Volt to the first model released to consumers in order to make the battery more efficient. Finally, students will look at the supply and demand, and production of the Chevy Volt.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 12/20/2011

Related Publications

The following lessons come from the Council for Economic Education's library of publications. Clicking the publication title or image will take you to the Council for Economic Education Store for more detailed information.


Learning, Earning and Investing: High School

This publication contains 23 lessons that introduce high school students to the world of investing--its benefits and risks and the critical role it plays in fostering capital formation and job creation in our free market system.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2004

23 out of 23 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide

This publication contains complete instructions for teaching the lessons in Capstone. When combined with a textbook, Capstone provides activities for a complete high school economics course. 45 exemplary lessons help students learn to apply economic reasoning to a wide range of real-world subjects.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2003

7 out of 45 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Trading Around the World

Created as a supplement to existing middle school world geography and world history courses, the 5 units in this guide introduce students to the basics of global trade.

Grades: 6-9
Published: 2007

7 out of 7 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.