Tools for Teaching the High School Economics with Personal Finance Course


The Tools for Teaching the High School Economics with Personal Finance Course includes lessons, links to resources, and lecture PowerPoint presentations aligned to the Arkansas Social Studies Frameworks.

Each of the 20 sessions, or modules, focuses on teaching specific economic or personal finance content, scarcity or demand for example. Each individual session includes a description, talking points, Arkansas Economic Standards and resources. Lesson plans are also part of each session, which include required visuals and handouts or directions about how to find the lessons. The talking points are introductory comments and information about the content for each session. The talking points are provided in PowerPoint format for teachers to use as they introduce each session or for student note taking. The course is designed with flexibility for teachers to use it in its entirety or to select individual sessions. 

This course is a toolkit created in partnership with Economics Arkansas. Learn more about Economics Arkansas on their website.

For additional information about this course, please contact Jeannette Bennett at


How to use the materials:

Option 1: Download the entire curriculum (pdf) containing all 20 sessions.

Option 2: Download individual sessions for the specific topics you wish to use (listed below) and the introduction (pdf), which includes an overview and links to resources not included in the individual session pdfs listed below.

For both options, teachers can download the Talking Points Presentations (pptx) for the sessions they like (listed below) and access the Econ Lowdown resources here. Teachers may also find this suggested pacing guide helpful when getting started.


Session 1 - Scarcity and Decision Making
Scarcity of resources requires individuals, organizations, and governments to make decisions. Students will explore limited resources, opportunity cost, trade-offs, and the production possibilities curve. In addition, they will experience decision making in several ways by planning a dance, choosing a college, and buying a computer.

•  Session 1 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 2 - Allocation
In this session, students explore the ways scarce resources are allocated.

•  Session 2 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 3 - Marginal Analysis
Students will analyze the marginal costs and marginal benefits of solutions to economic problems.

•  Session 3 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 4 - Demand, Supply, and Market Equilibrium
Students will construct supply and demand graphs, recognize shifts in supply and demand, and construct graphs of those shifts. They will also participate in activities that illustrate market equilibrium.

•  Session 4 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 5 - Circular Flow
In a market economy, businesses (producers), consumers, and government are linked. Students explore this linkage with circular flow activities. Students will also investigate the major forms of business organizations.

•  Session 5 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 6 - Market Failures
Students will learn that market failures are caused by a problem within a market that can result in an inefficient use of resources. Policymakers may intervene in an attempt to correct market failures through laws that include regulations and/or programs to alleviate the market failure. Students will also learn that firms will not provide goods and services if they aren’t able to earn a profit. If society values these goods and services, government may provide them.

•  Session 6 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 7 - Market Structures
Students learn that market structures refer to the characteristics, level of competition, and the resulting prices and quantities of goods and services produced. In addition, they learn that, in general, the greater the amount of competition in a market, the lower the price and higher the quantity produced and vice versa.

•  Session 7 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 8 - Macroeconomic Indicators: GDP, CPI, and the Unemployment Rate
Students will learn that macroeconomics is concerned primarily with data used to analyze the country’s economic health. The session shows how data are used and what some specific data measure. Students will use basic math skills to analyze data.

•  Session 8 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 9 - Economic Growth
Students will explore how advances in technology and investment in human capital and in capital goods impact economic growth and standards of living.

•  Session 9 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 10 - Financial Institutions
Students will learn that money and financial institutions are vital to a well-functioning economy.

•  Session 10 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 11 - The Role of the Federal Reserve System and Monetary Policy
The Federal Reserve System's monetary policy works to stabilize and promote the growth of the U.S. economy. This session will provide students with an overview of the Federal Reserve System and its monetary policy.

•  Session 11 (pdf) 

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 12 - Fiscal Policy
The fiscal policy of Congress works to stabilize and promote the growth of the U.S. economy. This session will provide students with an overview of the fiscal policy of Congress.

•  Session 12 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 13 - Revenues, Outlays, and Debt of the Federal Government
Students will learn that the federal government receives income from taxes and other sources and provides goods, services, and transfer payments. In addition, students will learn key concepts and terms regarding the federal budget.

•  Session 13 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 14 - Absolute Advantage and Comparative Advantage
Students will learn that people engage in trade voluntarily because they expect to benefit. They will also learn the roles that absolute advantage and comparative advantage play in specialization and trade.

•  Session 14 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 15 - Globalization
Students will learn that people engage in trade voluntarily because they expect to benefit.

•  Session 15 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 16 - Factors for Financial Success and Earning Income
Students participate in activities that demonstrate how improving their human capital will put them on a path to financial success.

•  Session 16 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 17 - Setting & Achieving Financial Goals and Spending
Students will have the opportunity to set financial goals, both short term and long term, and develop a budget.

•  Session 17 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 18 - Saving and Investing
Students will participate in hands-on activities about saving and investing.

•  Session 18 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 19 - Insuring
After an explanation of how insurance works, students will choose insurance to purchase and experience the costs and benefits of those choices.

•  Session 19 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


Session 20 - Borrowing
Students will investigate different forms of credit, compare credit card offers, and determine the costs and benefits of credit.

•  Session 20 (pdf)

•  Talking Points Presentation (pptx)


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