In April 2002, Argentina's economic situation seemed to be getting worse and worse. Banks closed for nine days before reopening on April 29, 2002. How did Argentinians function during that time? Amy Radil of NPR reported on the flourishing barter economy that sprung up through necessity. Her report provides background information for the students in this lesson as they examine inflation, barter systems, and the use of currency.
Students learn about the money supply and that it can affect the value of money. Students investigate this in the 1896 presidential election (Bryan vs. McKinley, Free Silver vs. Gold Standard) and examine a political cartoon that depicts how some people felt about this issue. Students answer questions about what they would do with more money and what might happen if the money supply increases.
Students will take a surprise trip around the world. As they travel, they will use clues to discover where they are going. They will then figure out how much money they have spent in U.S. dollars, using exchange rates.
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