Invest in Yourself

Students are divided into four groups to produce name tents. Each group produces name tents in a different way to highlight different levels of human capital. Students identify ways in which people invest in their human capital. Students use the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to analyze unemployment, educational attainment, and median weekly income data for 2012. They work with a partner to create a graphical representation of the data and share their examples with the class.

As an assessment, they write several sentences that describe the unemployment, educational attainment, and median weekly income data and explain the likely impact of investment in human capital on potential earnings and unemployment. A second assessment asks students to use the Occupational Outlook Handbook to select an occupation of interest and outline the investments in human capital they must make to obtain that occupation.

Objectives

Students will:

  • define human capital and investment in human capital,
  • give examples of investment in human capital,
  • describe the relationship between a person’s level of education and income earning potential, and
  • describe the relationship between educational attainment and unemployment.

Grade Level

Middle School – High School

Time Required

  • 60 minutes

Materials

  • Handout 1, one copy for each student
  • Two sheets of light-colored construction paper per student plus one sheet for the teacher
  • One sheet of chart paper for each pair of students
  • One dark-colored marker for each student
  • Markers for each pair of students

 

Whiteboard (SMART/notebook)
Whiteboard (ActivInspire/flipchart)
PowerPoint (pptx)

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Calculating Down Payments as a Fraction

Students will learn to calculate down payments using fractions.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will learn about down payments.
  • Students will learn to calculate down payments using fractions.
  • Students will review multiplying fractions and whole numbers.

Suggested Grade Level

6th – 9th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Many times, we will see word problems that use terms that we see in real life problems.

These are terms related to money or to business and they are terms that we should know or will need to know to be able to figure out purchases.

One of these terms is the term down payment.

What is a down payment?

A down payment is an amount of money that is paid towards a total purchase.

This happens whenever people want to purchase something and they can’t afford the whole price at once. Often we see this with large items like appliances, houses or cars.  We aren’t going to get into buying a car or a house in this lesson, but we will work with the idea of a down payment.

When someone makes a down payment, they pay a partial amount of the whole. Then that amount is subtracted from the total and what is left is the new amount that they need to pay.

 

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The Election of FDR and the New Deal

Learn about the New Deal and the election of FDR.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will understand some of the New Deal programs initiated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his administration to alleviate the effects of the Great Depression.
  • Students will understand the lasting effects of the New Deal programs.

Suggested Grade Level

5th – 8th Grade

Related Standards (from McREL’s Standards Compendium) :

  • S. History Standard 24: Understands how the New Deal addressed the Great Depression, transformed American federalism, and initiated the welfare state.
  • Language Arts Standards 7: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts.

 

Overview of Lesson:

  1. Teacher leads the class in a pre-reading discussion of the New Deal.
  2. Teacher distributes passages. Students read them and answer the questions that follow.  Teacher should ask students to underline or highlight key words as they read.  Teachers can also use a portion of their history textbooks.
  3. Teacher leads the class in a post-reading discussion of the New Deal.
  4. Teacher assigns one or more of the follow-up activities.

 

Time Needed for Lesson:

1 class period for reading, responding, and discussions.  Doing one or more of the extended activities will add another 2-4 class periods.

 

Pre-Reading Discussion Questions

  1. Imagine that another “Great Depression” occurred today. What actions would you expect your government to take?  Your community?  Your family and friends?
  2. In response to the effects of the Great Depression, the government instituted a plan that they called a “New Deal.” Based on the name “New Deal,” what kinds of programs do you think are included in this plan?

 

Post-Reading Discussion Questions

  1. What words did students highlight in the reading? Possible answers: polio, fireside chats, Inaugural Address, Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, Tennessee Valley Authority, etc.
  2. What role did a disability play in FDR’s life and in his decision to become president?
  3. What kind of radio program is implied by the name “fireside chats”?
  4. How would you summarize the goals of the New Deal programs?

 

Extended Activities

Several activities are available for students to complete as a follow-up and reflection on the lesson.  All of the activities have the option of sharing with the class when the are completed.

 

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Developing a Budget

In the weeks prior to the start of the unit, students track their expenditures during a two-week period. In class, students create a group presentation about personal and financial goals. Individually, students identify four personal goals and describe the related financial goals. With financial goals in mind, students work in pairs to complete a budget analysis for a fictitious high school senior who needs to save money for prom. The lesson concludes with a personal budget development activity that uses the information on expenditures that was collected during the two-week data gathering period.

Objectives

  • Analyze personal goals to determine related and necessary financial goals.
  • Devise personal goals for a variety of time frames and develop related financial goals.
  • Gather data and use it to analyze personal spending.
  • Develop a budget that allows personal saving.

Grade Level

High School – College

Time Required

Two weeks of data collection outside of class (time frame for data collection can be modified as appropriate). One 50-minute class period.

Materials

  • SmartBoard (optional) If using a computer and projector please click when procedure says touch
  • Interactive PDF file Ƀ Copies of Handout 1: Tracking Your Expenses
  • Copies of Handout 2: Where Am I Going? A Goal-Setting Exercise
  • Copies of Handout 3: Budget Worksheet

National Standards in K–12 Personal Finance Education

  • Financial Responsibility and Decision-making
  • Standard 4: Make financial decisions by systematically considering alternatives and consequences.
  • Planning and Money Management
  • Standard 1: Develop a plan for spending and saving

Procedure Document

Procedure Document

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Budget to Save—The Balance Sheet

This lesson begins with dispelling common myths about millionaires through the interactive “Millionaire Quiz.” Students then have an opportunity to give their opinions of wealth in a brainstorming activity that culminates in a formalizing of the definition of wealth through the equation of “assets – liabilities = net worth.” Using a variety of interactives, students will further distinguish between wealth-building and depreciating assets and finalize the discussion by using an interactive balance sheet to calculate and visualize how wealth is created.

Objectives

  • Define wealth using the concept of net worth.
  • Measure wealth using a balance sheet.
  • Distinguish between wealth-creating assets and other types of assets.

Grade Level

High School – College

Time Required

One 50-minute class period

Materials

  • SmartBoard (optional). If using a computer and projector, please click when procedure says touch.
  • Interactive PDF file
  • Copies of Handout 1: Real Life Balance Sheets, cut apart
  • Copies of Handout 2: What Does It Mean to Be Wealthy? (optional)

National Standards in K–12 Personal Finance Education

  • Planning and Money Management
  • Standard 1: Develop a plan for spending and saving.
  • Standard 2: Develop a system for keeping and using financial records.
  • Standard 6: Develop a personal financial plan.

 

Procedure Document

Procedure Document

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Good Times and Hard Times in America

Learn about good times and bad times in the United States in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will be to identify the automobile, movie and radio industries as indicative of prosperity in the U.S. in the 1920’s.
  • Students will be able to name the first “talkie” and tell what year it was produced.
  • Students will be able to explain what caused the stock market to crash in 1929.
  • Students will be able to identify October 29, 1929 as the day the stock market crashed.
  • Students will be able to identify the stock market crash as the beginning of the Great Depression.
  • Students will be able to describe the hardships people faced during the Great Depression.

Suggested Grade Level

4th – 6th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Soon after World War I ended, many people in America experienced good times. The United States was now the richest country in the world, and the biggest sign of good times for most people was having a car of their own. More than half of American families had a car by 1927, and the success of the automobile industry had a great effect on the landscape of the country. Country roads were replaced by paved highways, and the highways were lined with growing businesses such as gas stations, diner and motels.

Work life was also easier in the 1920’s. For the first time, most people had weekends off to spend on entertainment. Some even had paid vacation time for the first time. The movie industry began to grow as people had more free time. Since Thomas Edison invented the motion picture, movies had been a favorite pastime for Americans, though early movies had no sound. Then in 1927, the first “talkie” was produced. It was a movie called “The Jazz Singer” that starred an actor and singer named Al Jolson. Another big business was radio. By 1929, nearly one third of American families had a radio in their homes. They would sit by the radio at night and listen to stories, music or the news.

 

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Money Expressions with Two Operations

Students will learn to solve money problems with two or more operations.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will learn to define an expression.
  • Students will learn to write expressions to solve problems.
  • Students will write expressions and solve problems with two or more operations.

Suggested Grade Level

6th – 9th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

What is an expression?

A numerical expression is a mathematical phrase that has numbers and operations in it. A variable expression is a mathematical phrase that has numbers, operations and variables in it.

You may be wondering what an expression has to do with money; well many times there are problems that need to be solved regarding money. When this happens, we need to think about how to express the problem in a mathematical way so that we can solve it. This is where using an expression comes in.

Let’s look at an expression that has one operation in it.

Example:

Kyle is shopping for a present for his mother. He has decided to buy her four new coffee cups. After searching all day, he finally selects a set that he likes. Unfortunately, he has to buy each cup separately. One cup is $5.00. If Kyle purchases all four cups, how much will he spend?

 

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The Gold Rush – Impact and Expansion

Students will learn about various gold rushes, including the California, Colorado, and Alaska Gold Rushes.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will understand of the major events surrounding the California, Colorado, and Alaska Gold Rushes.
  • Students will understand the impact of the Gold Rushes on western expansion in the U.S.
  • Students will understand many important issues surrounding U.S. territorial expansion.

Suggested Grade Level

6th – 8th Grade

Related Standards (from McREL’s Standards Compendium) :

  • S. History Standard 9: Understands the United States territorial expansion between 1801 and 1861, and how it affected relations with external powers and Native Americans
  • S. History Standard 10: Understands how the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed American lives and led to regional tensions
  • Language Arts Standards 4: Gathers and uses information for research purposes
  • Language Arts Standards 7: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts

 

Overview of Lesson:

  1. Students read about of the California, Colorado, and Alaska Gold Rushes using either their textbooks or the information provided here.
  2. Students complete the chart comparing the three Gold Rushes.
  3. Students work in small groups to conduct further research on one of the three Gold Rushes and create a report and visual aid to demonstrate their research.

 

Time Needed for Lesson:

1 class period for reading, discussion, and completion of chart. The report and visual aid will require another 3-5 class periods.

 

Major Points of Emphasis

  • Gold is a precious metal which has been used for thousands of years as a source of currency and wealth.
  • Although a frenzy accompanied each of the three Gold Rushes discussed here, they did much to open up Western territories to settlement and development.
  • As prospectors hurried to find gold, they created a need for more goods and services in the West, causing many others to follow their lead and leading to the rapid development of many regions of the country.
  • The prospectors endured many hardships along the way.
  • The Gold Rushes caused changes to the geography of the regions they took place in and affected the Native American populations already present on the lands.

 

Lesson Excerpt:

Gold was first discovered in Northern California, very close to the city of San Francisco. The actual location of the discovery was Sutter’s Mill at a place where the American and Sacramento Rivers come together near the Sierra Nevada mountain range. James Marshall, who had been hired by John Sutter to build a sawmill on his land, was the first to find a golden nugget on January 28, 1848. After testing it, he learned that it was indeed real gold. Although he only told a few people because he wanted to keep his finding a secret, this was not to be.

Throughout 1848 the news spread, at first locally, and then throughout the state, the country, and the world. The news started a frenzy in which people madly rushed to California to search for gold and instant wealth. Throughout 1849, people came from all over to search for gold, often traveling thousands of miles and facing terrible hardships along the way. The “49ers,” as they were called, came by land and by sea; both U.S. citizens and immigrants came in search of wealth and opportunity. By the time that the majority of the prospectors had arrived, however, they found that most of the gold had already been taken.

 

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Writing Expressions with Different Money Amounts

Students will learn to write and evaluate expressions that have different money amounts.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will review writing expressions.
  • Students will review evaluating expressions.
  • Students will write expressions with different money amounts in them.
  • Students will evaluate those expressions.

Suggested Grade Level

6th – 9th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

What is an expression?

An expression is a numerical statement that has variables, numbers and operations in it. An expression is not an equation. An equation is looking to be solved. There is only one solution to an equation. An expression is evaluated. Depending on given values, there may be more than solution to an expression.

Here is an example of an expression.

Example:
12y

This expression means that we are multiplying 12 times an unknown number.
This expression could describe a situation involving money. Here is an example.

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Writing Expressions Involving Money Amounts

Students will learn to write expressions using money amounts.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will review evaluating expressions.
  • Students will review expressions verses equations.
  • Students will learn to write expressions to evaluate money amounts.

Suggested Grade Level

6th – 9th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

What is an expression?

An expression is a numerical statement that has variables, numbers and operations in it.  An expression is not an equation. An equation is looking to be solved. There is only one solution to an equation. An expression is evaluated. Depending on given values, there may be more than solution to an expression.

Here is an example of an expression.

Example:

5x+6

Five times some unknown number plus six.

We don’t know what the unknown number, or variable x is, so we aren’t sure what the value of the expression is. Notice that we don’t have an equals sign. This expression isn’t an equation. It is an expression.  Because we haven’t been given a value for the variable, this is as far as we can go with this expression.

We can write expressions.

Using what we know about expression, we can write an expression to describe a particular situation.  Let’s look at an example.

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