When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, it is doubtful even he realized the far reaching impact such an achievement would have on life in the U.S. 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 3-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. A wealth of extension activities is provided if additional time is available.
Advancements in transportation have played a key role in the growth of our nation. U.S. government policies have also had a considerable impact on the development of transport as we know it today. In this series of three lessons, the students examine transportation and its impact on our nation (and vice versa) since the United States declared its independence in 1776. Lesson 1 focuses on improvements in transportation during the 19th century, particularly the development of a national rail system, to show how invention, innovation and infrastructure encouraged western expansion and economic growth. Lesson 2 moves on to the 20th century focusing on the development of auto transport and aviation. The impact on communities and world trade, for both good and bad,is examined. Lesson 3 calls upon the students to create a class timeline of transportation milestones; the timeline will help the students more clearly understand the factors, especially the economic incentives, that have played a key role in what has been called the "Transportation Revolution." While these three lessons will ideally be used together as a set, teachers may choose to use one or two of them, selectively, to focus, for example, on the 19th or the 20th century. If you would like your students to study the economics of transportation in more depth, consider following up with the EconEdLink lesson,An Economic Mystery: What Happened to Railroads?
Marketplace, a daily economics news program heard on National Public Radio, featured a story on January 8, 2002, titled "Microsoft Invades the Kitchen." In this segment, reporter Aaron Schachter describes consumers' enthusiasm, or lack thereof, for two new Microsoft products and explores the concept that the process of innovation and consumer response has in ongoing market development.
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 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.
23 out of 23 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.
7 out of 7 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students.
2 out of 24 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.