Middle School Economics. Here are FIVE Economics activities that I've used for years and are tried and true. I've found that kids really enjoy learning about money when it is real to them and I believe these activities do just that. Purchased in a bundle is definitely saving your money. Now that is a good economic practice in purchasing right there!
Included in this pack are:
STOCK MARKET CLASS COMPETITION (3 days)
This Stock Market investment activity uses the NASDAQ American Stock Exchange web site and has never failed me in getting even the most reluctant students to participate! If you are looking for a great activity to keep your students active and engaged this one hasn't failed me yet.
Each student is given "$50,000" and has to invest in 10 different corporations. This activity is done in "real-time" and truly helps them make connections to the economy they are a part of. You can decide how long you would like the activity to last or modify the lesson in any way you feel meets your classroom needs. I usually do this activity for 3 days. One introduction day, one purchasing day, and one selling day on the last day of school. I have 7th and 8th graders and they love it!
I've done this activity during the first week of school, half-way through the year, at the beginning of a new quarter or even just as a three week activity. Lately I've been starting this activity before we get into the Great Depression portion of our history class.
I have included VERY detailed instructions for you to follow in case you don't have the strongest background with technology.
To have this activity work successfully you need to:
1. Have access to a computer lab
2. Save the file in a location where students can access it
3. Have students save the file via own flash drive or network folder
I recommend trying this activity for yourself first so you can help assist students when it is time for them to participate in the activity.
CHECK WRITING PACKET (40 minutes)
This check writing packet will give students practice writing checks and recording their payments and deposits in a check register. Students read a story that takes them through a crazy day of writing six checks and making two deposits. They should end up with $5.00 left when they are done. The story, blank checks, check register, and answer key is provided with this purchase.
When I do this activity I usually print out two sets of blank checks for students. One for them to practice writing sample checks such as, "Write a check on May 10, 2014 to your school for $12.00 for a school T-shirt. How would you do that? What would it look like?" I let students try, then show them how I would write one on the overhead projector. I show them how to write the number in the amount as close as possible to the left edge so no one could add a number in there; thus changing a $47.00 check to $847.00. I also show them why to add a line after who you write the check out to so it doesn't end up as, "To: SOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOL or Your Social Studies Teacher." If the line is there it makes it harder for someone to alter the check.
When I teach this activity I tell students my one goal is that they protect themselves from ever getting ripped off. I also show them my own check card and how on the back I don't have my name signed. Instead I have "See I.D." I let them know that not even 5% of cashiers ever ask to see my identification. So I always ask the cashier, "How do you know this is my check card?" Many of my students will have jobs in high school as cashiers so it helps them be aware of identity theft early on.
Kids like this activity a lot, and they are usually very excited to find out if they got it right at the end.
OPPORTUNITY COST/BENEFIT PACKET (30 minutes)
As a way to introduce Opportunity Cost and Opportunity Benefit I use this as an elementary introduction to the concepts. Most students think of "cost" in terms of money so this helps to introduce them to the other costs for decisions (i.e. time, energy, risk, etc.) Students read a short scenario about having the opportunity to buy fruit from Mr. Morgan's fruit stand with a limited amount of money to better understand the different types of costs that go along with the benefit of getting a piece of fruit. Students are then asked to look at four examples that don't involve money and identify some costs involved with the decision as well as the benefits of the decision from each opportunity. Students are then asked to do some writing to come up with examples of their own regarding the four types of opportunity cost/benefit situations a person can be in.
An answer key is not provided for this activity because the answers will vary based on each student's interpretation of each scenario.
THE TOP 10 GREATEST EVENTS/INVENTIONS FROM 1950-1999 PROJECT (1 week)
As a way to help students understand the major events and inventions and the economic impact on history between 1950-1999 this is a fun way for them to investigate. Students will pick 10 events/inventions from 1950-1999 either from the lists provided or from their own knowledge. Students will then research using their library, the Internet, or their parents, grandparents, or other family members who lived during these times. Students will write what they believe was the cause, effect, and then justify why it made their Top 10 List.
Provided with this product are:
1. A set of directions that provides a basic outline
2. A Top 10 Chart
3. A vast selection of events/inventions for each decade
4. A writing example showing a good and not so good example
5. A grading rubric that is short and to the point
Be sure to check with your school library to see if they have a set of "Decades Discs" that were put out by the post office about 10 years ago. They are a good resource to use.
My students have enjoyed doing this activity so I hope yours do as well. Enjoy!
FAMOUS INVENTORS AND THEIR INVENTIONS PROJECT (1 week)
Here is an activity that will take a week for students to put together and then time for them to present the following week. I've always given my students five days of class time for research and finalizing their presentation. The following week we would spend no more than two days presenting.
As part of an Economics Unit, a history lesson on industrialization, a lesson for a reading class or as a way for an English teacher to incorporate research and speeches, this product could be used in many different disciplines.
Included in this package are:
1. A list of famous inventors and what they've invented
2. A set of questions for students to consider when researching from each of the seven branches of social studies (Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology)
3. Two different rubrics to choose from based on the needs and abilities of your students.
I've had a lot of fun with kids doing these activities over the years so I hope that you and your students do too!
Check out my other Economics Bundles:
The Economics of Balancing a Budget & The Economics of Saving Your Money
The Economics of Balancing a Budget & The Economics of Check Writing
The Economics of Balancing a Budget & The Economics of College
The Economics of Balancing a Budget & The Economics of Investing in the Stocks
The Economics of Check Writing & The Economics of College
The Economics of Check Writing & The Economics of Investing in Stocks
The Economics of Check Writing & The Economics of Saving Your Money
The Economics of College & The Economics of Saving Money
The Economics of College & The Economics of Investing in Stocks
The Economics of Saving Your Money & Investing in Stocks
Here's even MORE Economics products:
Career Research Packet
Economics Bundle Pack - Stocks, Cost/Benefit, & 2 Invention Projects
Famous Inventors and Their Inventions Presentation
Opportunity Cost and Benefit Packet
The Cause and Effect of the Greatest Events or Inventions from 1950-1999 Project
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