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.
The 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.
- 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.
These charts shows just how historically bad the recession was for U.S. consumers: This article outlines the effect that the Great Recession had on consumer spending.
Great Recession linked to weight gain in kids: This article discusses how unemployment leads to a greater risk of childhood obesity.
5 Easy Ways to Reduce Recession Anxiety: This site shows ways to reduce fears about the recession.
- Teams Win, but Fans Stay Home: written in 2010, a year after the recession ended, this article discusses how the economic hardship during the recession has affected attendance, even as the economy recovers. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/29/sports/baseball/29attendance.html
Cash for Clunkers: This site explains the Cash for Clunkers program, also known as Consumer Assistance Recycle and Save Act of 2009.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: This site gives a brief overview and highlights the main points of the American Economic Recovery Act.
How to Deal with Recession: This site shows strategies, including financial and career moves, to deal with the recession.
Comparing the Great Recession and the Great Depression: This site explains that the Great Recession and the Great Depression had similar effects on the economy, but the Great Depression was far worse.
Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession (Part 2): This show the negative economic effects that the Great Recession had on the U.S. economy.
Six Years Later, 93% of U.S. Counties Haven’t Recovered from Recession, Study Finds: This article discusses how many countries have not fully recovered economically from the Great Recession.
U.S. Economic Recovery Looks Good Compared with Sluggish Europe, Asia: This article discusses the progress that has been made economically during the years after the end of the recession.
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:
- 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Recession Anxiety
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.
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.
Read about the current path towards recovery that the U.S. has taken https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/17/482328208/u-s-economic-recovery-looks-good-compared-with-sluggish-europe-asiaand https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/01/12/six-years-later-93-of-u-s-counties-havent-recovered-from-recession-study-finds/. 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?
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 https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/sep/19/comparing-great-recession-and-great-depression/. After they have made comparisons between the numbers shown for these two economic downturns, have them read Part 2 of the https://www.cbpp.org/research/economy/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.
Grades 6-8, 9-12