Education Resources Recommended by Amanda Geiger

Amanda Geiger is a senior economic education specialist at the St. Louis Fed. Amanda has an M.A. in economics and entrepreneurship. She taught high school for 12 years and was a AP Macroeconomics exam reader and table leader.

Amanda's favorite resources are listed below.

Elementary School

  • What Makes a Community? Lesson for Grades 2-5
    In this lesson, students create a community by drawing pictures of houses, apartment buildings, condominiums and businesses. They place their pictures on the floor and take a walk in their community. They discover that there are many important features missing from this community. As they draw and add additional features to their community, they learn that some are paid for by government and that taxes pay for government-provided goods and services.

  • Monster Musical Chairs Lesson for Grades K-1
    Students listen to the story and identify the scarcity problem the monsters had—not enough chairs for every monster to have one. Students wear a picture of a want they have drawn and play a version of musical chairs in which the chairs are labeled goods. Students learn that a good can satisfy a want. They also learn that, because of scarcity, not everyone's wants are satisfied.

  • Explore Economics Video Series for Grades 2-5
    Explore Economics is a series of short videos that introduce elementary-age children to economic concepts.

Middle School

  • Teaching About Money, Spending and Inflation Using a Classroom Inflation Auction
    Students participate in two auctions. The goods in each auction are identical, but the amount of money given to students increases from the first to the second auction. Students learn that if spending grows at a faster rate than the economy’s ability to produce goods and services, inflation will result. This is inflation caused by “too much spending chasing too few goods.”

  • Is Trade a Zero-Sum Game? The Answer Lies in Candy
    This simple trading activity demonstrates a key economic idea: Voluntary trade can make both the buyer and seller better off. Students first receive a piece of candy randomly. They then have the opportunity to trade that candy first with “elbow partners” (their borders) and then the whole class (globally). After each trade, satisfaction points are tallied. A video shows teachers a presentation with the same trading activity, but on a larger scale, and explains that trade is not a zero-sum game.

  • The Amazing $2,000 Pizza
    This video from the Continuing Feducation series emphasizes the importance of using credit cards responsibly.

High School

  • Hamilton's National Bank
    In this lesson, students participate in two rounds of an activity to help them understand the role of banks in facilitating economic growth through loans. Round 1 is conducted without a bank. After the first round, students read excerpts from Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton’s 1790 report to Congress in which he proposes a national bank because the United States had few banks at the time. Students then conduct Round 2 of the activity with a bank. After the round, students read excerpts from and summaries of the statute creating a national bank, Thomas Jefferson’s opposition, and Hamilton’s rebuttal.

  • What Should College Athletes Be Paid? Market Structure and the NCAA
    What should college athletes be paid? The debate over compensation of student athletes in the U.S. is not new, but recent policy changes and court cases have once again brought the issue to the forefront. This issue of Page One Economics looks at how the market structure underlying college athletics has taken this debate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Teaching Market Structures with a Competitive Gum Market
    In this lesson, students participate in an activity that demonstrates a key economic idea: The level of competition in an industry is a major determinant of product prices. Students are placed in groups that replicate four competitive conditions—perfect competition, monopoly, competitive oligopoly and collusive oligopoly. Students act as firms in each industry competing to sell their product to the teacher (acting as a consumer). Through the market activity, students learn that when many firms are competing in an industry, prices begin to reflect the cost of production, whereas a single seller can command a high price. They also learn how collusion can result in groups of sellers behaving as monopolists.


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