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Whether your students are studying history, geography, a novel set in a foreign country, statistics, real-life math, etc, etc, examining economic indicators and other related statistics of countries/regions and then comparing/contrasting them to the economic indicators of the USA is a great way for students to gain perspective. It also nurtures the development of critical thinking skills, the ability to assess multiple pieces of informational texts (charts, graphs, maps, etc), and the ability to draw reasonable conclusions based on statistics (perfect for meeting Common Core Standards).
These easy to use resources can be used with any country/region, in almost any subject area, and can be very easily modified to fit your needs. They include: graphic organizers for comparing economic wealth of countries; notes/definitions for economic indicators and review of using graphs; a graphing assignment; and a “Drawing Conclusions” paragraph assignment, including instructions/template, pre-writing organizer, social studies/content rubric, and language arts rubric.