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Should the federal government increase the federal minimum wage?
Increasing the minimum wage is a controversial issue in the 2016 election. Students will understand contrasting arguments on the impact of raising the minimum wage. They will also gain an understanding of the direct relationship between hourly wages at work and economic decision-making when navigating a family budget.
This lesson introduces students to the federal minimum wage. The lesson begins by providing background information from the history of the policy. Students will explore the debate on the impact of the wage floor on markets and participate in a decision-making simulation on the hard choices many people at this income level have to endure.
What are the tradeoffs that policymakers face when steering the federal budget? To answer this question, students will grapple with the complexity of federal budget choices as they play The Fiscal Ship, a game created by the [EEL-link id='5124' title='Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution' ] and the Serious Games Initiative at the [EEL-link id='5131' title='Woodrow Wilson Center.' ]
Students listen to the book Uncle Jed's Barbershop, about an African American barber who, despite significant setbacks, saves enough money to buy his own barbershop. From the story, students learn about saving, savings goals, opportunity cost, and segregation. The students participate in a card game to further investigate what it takes to reach a savings goal.
In the story, A Chair for My Mother, a little girl and her family save money in a jar to buy a chair after their furniture is destroyed in a fire. In this lesson, students will learn that characters in the book are human resources who save part of the income they earn. Students will identify other human resources and state how the mental and physical work of those human resources allows them to earn income. Finally, students name strategies to reach a savings goal.
This lesson helps students better understand immigration, a major issue in the 2016 presidential election. Students learn how to evaluate economic and non-economic factors of immigration by assuming the roles of people who are affected--some positively and some negatively--by the migration of skilled and unskilled workers. They analyze the economic causes and effects of migration in relation to several important public policy issues, including the impact of immigration on wages in the United States and of emigration on developing nations.