To get started, the students will read Lyddie, a novel by Katherine Paterson. The novel is set mainly in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s. In Lowell the main character, 13-year-old Lyddie Worthen, works six days a week, from dawn until dusk, running weaving looms in a murky dust-and lintfilled factory, trying to save enough money to reunite her family. In reading and discussing this fine novel, the students examine basic economic concepts and explore the growth of labor unions and the role of government in a market economy. Lyddie is published by Puffin Books and is available at Amazon.com. It is also available in DVD video format and may be purchased on line at Circuit City, DVD Empire.com and Overstock.com.
Competition provides benefits for consumers. First, more competition means consumers have more choices of goods and services. Second, when more firms are offering goods and services, competition often leads to lower prices.
Advertisements can tell consumers about prices and other information that may help them in the decisions they make about what to buy. But students also should know that ads are slanted by sellers to show a product in the best light. This lesson reveals to students how advertisers use words and images to make goods and services look their best. To protect consumers and make sure that competition among sellers is fair in the marketplace, the federal government requires that factual claims in ads be backed up with proof. Still, it is usually okay for sellers to talk only about the positives and ignore the negatives of what they are selling. Another common trick is to use exaggerated claims called “puffery.” It is up to the consumers to separate factual claims from opinions and exaggerations. This lesson challenges students to create a set of tips that could help consumers to make this distinction. Being able to tell the difference between factual claims and puffery or opinions can help consumers to make smart choices and avoid market disappointments.
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.
This publication helps elementary students analyze energy and environment issues from an economics perspective.
3 out of 10 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
Designed primarily for elementary and middle school students, each of the 15 lessons in this guide introduces an economics concept through activities with modeling clay.
3 out of 17 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
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.
1 out of 7 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.