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Home > Education Resources > primary-source-documents

Economic Education

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Records Found: 5

The Great Depression

 History holds many economic lessons. The Great Depression, in particular, is an event that provides the opportunity to teach and learn a great deal about economics—whether you’re studying the economic reasons that the Depression took place, the factors that helped it come to an end or the impact on Americans who lived through it. more

Barbie® in the Labor Force

Barbie in the Labor Force iconlesson (.pdf)
whiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
whiteboard (ActivInspire/.flipchart)
PowerPoint

Since 1920, women have more than doubled their share of the labor force. More women are working, but has the type of work they do advanced similarly? What were the top occupations for women 20, 60, and 100 years ago, and how do those occupations compare with women’s choices today? In this lesson, students use primary documents to review historical trends in women’s share of the labor force and chosen occupations. Using Barbie careers as a timeline, they speculate as to why Barbie represented certain careers for girls at different points in time since 1959. They choose which career Barbie might represent next year and explain that choice in a one-page essay. This lesson includes primary source documents obtained from FRASER®.

“Barbie®” photographs © Mattel, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved. All “Barbie®” images appear courtesy of Mattel, Inc.

Constitutionality of a Central Bank

Lesson iconlesson (.pdf)

Students learn about McCulloch v. Maryland, a case decided in 1819 over (1) whether the state of Maryland had the right to tax the Second Bank of the United States and (2) whether Congress had violated the Constitution in establishing the Bank. Students also review the expressed powers of Congress identified in the Constitution and analyze how Congress implements the necessary and proper (elastic) clause to enact its expressed powers. Finally, students use their knowledge of McCulloch v. Maryland and the necessary and proper clause to consider the constitutionality of the Federal Reserve System.

The Free Silver Movement and Inflation

Vintage Cartoonlesson (.pdf)

Students learn that money is a medium of exchange that facilitates economic activity. Next, students learn the relationship between the money supply and inflation by participating in an inflation auction using gold and silver notes to better understand the historic debate of the Free Silver Movement. Students then read William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech to relate the historical context. The students use historical data to calculate income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses of a farmer to further understand the historical argument presented by the Free Silver Movement. Finally, students analyze two political cartoons against the Free Silver Movement. This lesson includes primary source documents obtained from FRASER®.

Great Depression Curriculum Unit

History holds many economic lessons. The Great Depression, in particular, is an event that provides the opportunity to teach and learn a great deal about economics-whether you’re studying the economic reasons that the Depression took place, the factors that helped it come to an end or the impact on Americans who lived through it. This curriculum is designed to provide teachers with economic lessons that they can share with their students to help them understand this significant experience in U.S. history. more