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Related Lessons

Calendar Item: A Golden Age Finished? on December 17, 1878


What Happened to Railroads?

Between the Civil War and World War II, railroads were one of the nation's most important businesses and an integral part of people’s lives. In this lesson, students assume the role of detectives investigating why the rail companies experienced a crisis in the 1960s and what helped the freight transport portion of the business return to profitability later in the same century. Students analyze a set of clues that help them explore the impact of government policies and changes in consumer demand on rail service. They discover that government policies (e.g., regulations, subsidies, and taxes) can have both positive and negative consequences in the marketplace. An interactive activity helps students understand that rail service competes in two different markets—passenger service and hauling freight. Students also learn that railroads and government policies have had to adjust as the transportation industry changed in the second half of the twentieth century.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 06/07/2007

Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution (Part 1)

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 20thcentury 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 time line of transportation milestones; the time line 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?

Grades: 9-12
Published: 01/30/2008

Where did All the Money Go? The Great Depression Mystery

In this lesson, the students read a brief passage that poses the mystery, "How did the Great Depression happen?" As detectives, they gather clues using the Internet to investigate the mystery through a series of clue sheets. In the first step they complete a retrieval chart to summarize information about the consumer price index, unemployment rate, federal spending, and US and world events that have economic and political implications. Next, working in groups, they then do additional research on the Internet focusing on information on the economic conditions of the country looking at labor, income, unemployment, government spending, and the public debt. Then you will read three articles on some of the top economic events of the century, including Henry Ford 's impact, the Federal Reserve System's role in the economy, and the stock market crash of 1929. Finally, they complete an interactive web model that demonstrates the interdependence of a market system.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 04/27/2004

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.


Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History

Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2006

15 out of 40 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Focus: Understanding Economics in Civics and Government

This publication contains 20 lessons designed to provide an economic insight into topics typically covered in may civics and government classes.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2009

12 out of 21 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

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