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Grade9-12
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By William Bosshardt

The students examine economic data in order to predict the results of presidential elections.
Key concepts
Inflation, Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Unemployment
Rating
Grade9-12
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By

Think like a presidential candidate! Choose strategies to keep the federal debt in check as you play The Fiscal Ship, a game developed by the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution and the Wilson Center.

The federal debt is higher than it has been since the end of World War II. Each presidential candidate is vying to put forward the most feasible budget strategy. They have to make hard choices about how to reconcile value priorities such as retirement benefits and national defense with tax revenues and the future economic health of the country.

Your mission is to do the same by deciding on taxes, spending options, and policy values to set the budget. To win the game, you need to find a combination of government priorities and monetary directions that puts the federal budget--and The Fiscal Ship--on a sustainable course. Good luck!
Key concepts
Federal Budget, Fiscal Policy, National Debt
Rating
Grade9-12
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By William Bosshardt

Students identify costs associated with voting. Then they make predictions about who might be more likely to vote based on their understanding of opportunity costs.

Key concepts
Benefit, Opportunity Cost
Rating
Grade9-12
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By William Bosshardt

The lesson begins with an introduction to the use of polls in political campaigns. The students are introduced to the term "margin of error". The students participate in a sampling game in which they try to predict the proportion of chips in a bag that are red. The students learn how margin of error is calculated. The lesson concludes with a reading on questions to ask about a poll.

Key concepts
Mathematics
Rating
Grade9-12
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By William Bosshardt

Students participate in a series of classroom elections to analyze special-interest effects and see how the costs of voting and acquiring information about candidates or propositions on a ballot affect whether or not people vote, and, if they do, how informed they will be. Students examine the causes and consequences of logrolling and other collusion by elected officials. Finally, students determine whether Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium is an example of public choice theory in action.

COMPELLING QUESTION

Does voting always result in the best choice?

Key concepts
Benefit, Costs, Government Failure
Rating
Grade9-12
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By William Bosshardt

The students examine results from opinion polls conducted near the end of the 2012 presidential campaign. They compare results from several national polls to those of the Iowa Electronic Markets (hereafter, the IEM), an online futures market, to predict the outcome of the 2012 race. They read and discuss a handout which allows them to compare the performance of opinion polls and the IEM in predicting election outcomes. Finally, the students learn how well the IEM performed in the presidential campaign of 2012.

Key concepts
Incentive, Markets
Rating
Grade9-12
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By Understanding Fiscal Responsibility Project Team

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA

Could the conflict over the Second National Bank have been resolved in a way that supported the values advocated by both President Jackson and Congress?

Key concepts
Bank, Characteristics of Money, Definition of Money, Fraud Risk, Government Failure, Market Failures, Monetary Policy, Money, Money Supply, Paper Money, Risk
Rating
Grade9-12
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By Understanding Fiscal Responsibility Project Team

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA

Were the contradictory responses political leaders had to the panic of 1893 driven more by economic/political self-interest or by differing visions of what kind of country they wanted the United States to be?

Key concepts
Budget, Budget Deficit, Debt, Depression, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Human Capital

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