Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) addressed with this activity:
SS7E6 Describe factors that influence economic growth and examine their presence or absence in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
a. Evaluate how literacy rates affect the standard of living.
b. Explain the relationship between investment in human capital (education and
training) and gross domestic product (GDP per capita).
c. Explain the relationship between investment in capital goods (factories,
machinery, and technology) and gross domestic product (GDP per capita).
d. Explain how the distribution of oil has affected the development of
Southwest Asia (Middle East).
e. Describe the role of entrepreneurship.
SS7E4 Analyze different economic systems.
b. Explain that countries have a mixed economic system located on a continuum
between pure market and pure command.
c. Compare and contrast the economic systems in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and
Activity Length: Approximately 3 days, depending on how fast your students read (60-70 min. classes)
Student Materials needed: blue, yellow, red, and green colored pencils/markers/highlighters/crayons
Activity Background: In my opinion, the economics standards listed above are some of the hardest to teach in Georgia 7th grade Social Studies. There are vast amounts of information out there on each country’s economy, but very few of them are completely aligned to the GA standards, and even fewer are written on a 7th grader’s level. I also find that teaching the relationships between certain investments and GDP is easiest within a clear context. So I set out to create my own text that would check off all the boxes I was looking for. I used some old textbooks, some new, and some Internet research to compile the information I included in the text, which is written by me. Color-coding the text by topic in this activity seems to help my students chunk the material so they don’t become overwhelmed, and it also forces them to engage in metacognitive exercises as they read for information. Finally, the activity concludes by asking students to evaluate, support their final answer with evidence from the text, and explain their reasoning. In other words, this activity introduces new material, gives students a structured way to interact with the material, and provides a formative assessment all in one!