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 played in dealing with the Great Recession, which lasted from December 2007 to June 2009. They analyze their thoughts about what role the federal government should play in dealing with a recession. Additionally, students will look at how the economy has recovered from the effects of recession.

KEY CONCEPTS

Business Cycles, Role of Government

STUDENTS WILL

  • Explain how the Great Recession affected people throughout the United States and the world.
  • Describe how they and their families were affected by the recession.
  • Explain how the federal government handled the recession.
  • Examine their views on the role the federal government should play in dealing with a recession.
  • Examine how successful the U.S. has been in recovering from the effects of the Great Recession.

INTRODUCTION

recessionThe economic downturn, known as the Great Recession, lasted more than a year and a half (December 2007-June 2009), andhas 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 played in dealing with the recent recession and will examine their thoughts about the role that the federal government should play in dealing with a recession. Finally, students will see how the U.S. has recovered from the 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 recession 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 dealt 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 responded to deal with the recent recession.

7. Discuss with students how they think the federal government should have dealt with the recession. Did the government do a good job? What was the government trying to do with the programs it launched? Should the government be involved in dealing with recessions?

8. Ask the students what they think they can do to deal with the effects of a futurerecession 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 future recessions. 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' caused hard times, but how does it stack up against the greatest economic recession of all time, The Great Depression? Have the students read the article Comparing the Great Recession and the Great Depression . After they have made comparisons between the numbers shown for these two economic downturns, have them read Part 2 of the Chart Book: The Legacy of 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. Outside research is also encouraged.

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 played in dealing with the recent 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

fedres

Read about the current path towards recovery that the U.S. has taken here and here . Write a paragraph based on these two articles describing how successful the U.S. has been in recovering from the recession. What progress, if any, remains to be achieved?