The Effects of the Recession

EDUCATOR'S VERSION

This lesson printed from:
http://www.econedlink.org/e859

Posted October 21, 2009

Standards: 18, 19

Grades: 6-8

Author: Michael Koren

Posted: October 21, 2009

DESCRIPTION

The students learn how a recession affects our economy, and how it might affect them personally.They examine the role the federal government has played in dealing with the current recession. They analyze their thoughts about what role the federal government should play in dealing with a recession.

KEY CONCEPTS

Business Cycles, Role of Government

STUDENTS WILL

  • Explain how the recession has affected people throughout the United States and the world.
  • Describe how they and their families have been affected by the recession.
  • Explain how the federal government has tried to handle the current recession.
  • Examine their views on the role the federal government should play in dealing with a recession.

INTRODUCTION

recessionThe economic downturn that has occurred (and continues to occur) over more than a year and a half (2008-2009) has had a major impact on many people in the United States and the world. Tell the students they will learn how a recession affects them and the people around them. They will examine the role that the federal government has played in dealing with the current recession and will examine their thoughts about the role that the federal government should play in dealing with a recession.

RESOURCES


PROCESS

1. Ask the students to explain what they think a recession is. After they share their thoughts, tell them that a recession is a period of time when the economy slows down, people lose their jobs, and consumers cut back on buying products.

2. Tell the students to visit the following websites:

3. Tell the students they will write a three paragraph summary of the articles they have read. Have students share their summaries. As they report on what they have written, engage the class in a discussion of main points raised.

4. Have the students write a journal entry explaining the effects that the current recession has had on themselves and/or their families.Engage the class in a discussion of the journal entries, as appropriate.

5. Ask the students how the federal government has tried to deal with the recession. After discussing their comments, have the students go to these websites:

6. Have the students write a paragraph or two about how the federal government has responded to deal with the current recession.

7. Discuss with students how they think the federal government should deal with the current recession. Has the government done a good job to date? What is the government trying to do with the programs it has launched? Should the government be involved in dealing with the recession?

8. Ask the students what they think they can do to deal with the effects of the recession on themselves and/or their family. Then have them view the following websites:

9. Have the students develop a personal and/or family plan to deal with the current recession. The students should share their plans when they are finished.Engage the class in a discussion of the plans.

ASSESSMENT ACTIVITY

There is no doubt that 'The Great Recession' has caused hard times, but how does it stack up against the greatest economic recession of all time, The Great Depression? Have the students analyze this chart: Great Depression vs. 'Great Recession' . After they have made comparisons between the numbers shown for these two economic downturns, have them read The Great Recession .

What are some similarities between these two major downturns? What are some differences? What made the recent recession so bad? Why did it not turn into another Great Depression? What has the United States learned from The Great Depression?

Have the students write a one-page report answering these questions. They should explain their conclusions, making use of analyses and information from these two articles. They also should use information and ideas from other articles they have read for this lesson.

CONCLUSION

Tell the students they should now have an understanding of how a recession affects the public, how people can cope with a recession, and what role the federal government has played in dealing with the current recession. They also have been able to examine the effect the recession has had on their families and themselves. And they have examined their thoughts about what role the federal government should play in dealing with a recession.

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

fedresAsk the students to write an editorial stating what role the federal government should have in dealing with a recession. Have them back up their reasoning with facts, opinions, quotes, and other sources of support for their arguments.