INTRODUCTION

Perhaps some of you have read the best-selling book Freakonomics, or have seen the recently released movie. If so, you can probably think of several examples of where economics is found that you would not have expected to find it, such as sumo wrestling. If you are not familiar with this book, it is a best-selling work that brought economics into the pop culture scene and therefore introduced the subject to those who otherwise may not have been familiar with it (Dubner and Levitt, 2005). This book is popular because it shows economics in a different light as the authors were able to explain how economics is more than just scarcity, choices, supply and demand, etc. but that it is everywhere in our world. Today, we will explore economics in place where you previously may not have thought it could be found, in children’s literature, to see that economics truly is found everywhere. More specifically we will study some popular works by Dr. Seuss. Oh yes, Dr. Seuss!

TASK

Today, as a group, you will read a Dr. Suess book (The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, or Horton Hears a Who!) and try to find at least four economic concepts illustrated in the book.

The next time your class meets, you will present your findings via a poster or PowerPoint to the rest of the class.

PROCESS

Your teacher will divide you into groups and assign a popular Dr. Seuss book to your group. Just in case you didn’t memorize this particular Seuss book, one person from the group will read the book aloud.  As the story unfolds, think about the economics concepts you have learned. Are any of them illustrated in the story? Think about how you might explain this economic concept to a friend who has never taken an economic course. How would you explain the concept to them and show how it is illustrated in the Seuss book? Make sure you discuss your thoughts with the rest of the group.

As a group, come to a consensus about at least four concepts you found. You will visually display your findings on the piece of poster board (or PowerPoint). Be sure to write legibly and include the title of book on your poster (or PowerPoint). For each economic concept found, include a short definition of economic concept, what context it applies to the passage, and the page number passage appears on. The next time your class meets, you will have 15 minutes to discuss your book with the class and present your concepts via the poster (or PowerPoint). Make sure you plan out your presentation speakers as all member of the group should have a turn speaking during the presentation.

To know what you are being graded on take a look at the rubric to incorporate all you need to into your presentation.

CONCLUSION

When you read these stories as a child, you probably never dreamed of reading them again in a high school economics course. Where else does economics show up that you may have never considered?

ASSESSMENT ACTIVITY

Your teacher is going to ask you to choose one economic principle found in the Seuss book your group read and then find a corresponding news article illustrating the same concept. For homework, you will write one-page paper summarizing the article, defining the economic concept in your own words, and explaining how the economic concept is illustrated in the article. Don’t forget to properly cite your sources!

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

Your teacher may choose to show the movie,Freakonomics.  If not, it is available for purchase on iTunes or on their official movie site, and comes out on DVD 1/19/11. As a student of economics, you should consider watching this film on your own to see how economics is everywhere around us.