When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, he probably did not realize what a great impact his achievement would have on life in the United States 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 transportation. This three-part learning unit provides students with the story of Henry Ford and the Model T from an economics perspective. Parts 1 and 2 explore how the Ford Motor Company successfully introduced mass production strategies to the auto industry. Students learn how specialization and investments in capital (machines, people, etc.) increased productivity and allowed Ford to slash the price of his popular vehicle. Students chart a plan for the assembly-line production of bookmarks, test their plan, and make recommendations for improvements. Students also explore how Henry Ford used economic incentives to address a problem created by mass production techniques—worker turnover. An optional Part 3 explains how increased productivity resulted in shifts in the supply and demand for the Model T. Students analyze how a variety of non-price determinants continue to influence the automobile market today. The unit also presents a wealth of extension activities.
The students learn what GDP is. They will learn different measures of GDP as well as how GDP per capita can be used to compare countries. They will also calculate GDP per capita and learn how poorer countries can converge, or close the gap, with richer countries.
The Inuit people of northern Canada provide an example of a traditional economy. For thousands of years, Inuit parents have taught their children the survival skills needed to survive in the Arctic Circle's severe climate. Students will research the Inuit economy and compare and contrast it with the United States' market economy.
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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.
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With lessons combining economics and world history, students discover how people and nations developed as a result of making decisions based on maximizing local resources.
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