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Featured Resources: New for Fall

In Plain English eBook Now Available!

In Plain English: Making Sense of the Federal Reserve has been a popular video, online program, and print book for years.  Now, enjoy it as an eBook. Students can download In Plain English from the iTunes Store. The eBook contains all the same information as the other formats, helping students understand this complex, yet effective, organization.


New from the Economic Lowdown Video Series

Circular Flow

Households and businesses interact in the economy through the markets for resources and for goods and services. This video on this somewhat dry subject is just engaging enough to make learning about the important circular flow model interesting and fun. The story thoroughly covers the concept, with entertaining graphics and clear explanations.


This episode in our Economic Lowdown video series explains ways in which we can discourage those nasty negative externalities, such as pollution, while encouraging those externalities that benefit us all, such as those that arise from a well-educated population.  


New from No Frills Money Skills

Understanding Bonds

The latest episode in the No Frills Money Skills series is a spy thriller with our video host using high-tech tools to stop Miss Information and her plot to misguide, mislead, and misadvise. Students learn about government bonds, corporate bonds, coupon and no-coupon bonds, and the potential risks and return of investments.


New Short Courses Online

Opportunity Cost Online Course

Pressed for time? Do we have to ask? In fewer than 12 minutes, your students can complete this online course, which points to an important concept in economics—every choice we make has a cost—an opportunity cost. Some costs are small and relatively short term. Others are significant. Recognizing the opportunity costs of your decisions can help you make more-informed choices. This short course is designed to help students apply the idea of opportunity cost to the decisions they make.

Paying and Receiving Interest

This short, online interactive course is the perfect complement to your instruction on interest. In 15 minutes, your students will learn what interest is, will view interest from the borrower’s and the lender’s points of view, will recognize opportunity cost as the basis for interest charges, and will engage in a practical exercise deciding whether to spend savings or take out a loan to buy a car.  


New Economic and Personal Finance Vocabulary Tool:  Glossary Flash Cards

The terms in our glossary can now be printed as double-sided flash cards. You simply check the terms you wish to include in your deck, print the cards, and cut apart. Or better yet, let your students know about this useful new tool and they can assemble their own decks to prep for tests and competitions.


New Economics Lessons

Barbie® in the Labor Force

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 source 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.

Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building

In this lesson, students learn about human resources, productivity, human capital, and physical capital. They participate in three rounds of a reasoning activity. From round to round they receive training and tools to help them improve their reasoning ability and thus increase their productivity. Students will then listen to the story by Deborah Hopkinson about how the Empire State Building was built and identify examples of key concepts mentioned or shown
in the book.


In this lesson, students participate in a banking role play in which they portray roles based on characters in the book Worth! by A. LaFaye. The students learn about banking, profit, risk, and reward. Students discuss some of the factors that affect loan interest rates and the availability of credit. Students apply their knowledge of the content by writing a fictional applicant a letter of acceptance or rejection.  


Professional Development: Click, Learn, and Teach

Earn one hour of graduate credit and/or a certificate for select topics (currently GDP, unemployment, and inflation)—all from that comfy chair in front of your computer. Choose a topic, complete the activities, supervise students’ completion of an interactive EconLowdown program, and submit your assessment items. For full details, go to


Video Series Now with Q & A

The following video series now feature online questions to check student understanding: Economic LowDown, No Frills, Money Skills, In Plain English, and the new FEDucation, which explains the Fed’s roles and responsibilities. Enroll your students through our new and improved Instructor Management Panel.

Personal Finance 101 Conversations

While the topics remain timely, our chat format has changed—the following new chats are brief videos:

FAFSA 101: Walks through every screen of the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

College Choice 101: Outlines a systematic way to compare college costs and make a decision about where to go.

Financial Aid 101: Clarifies and defines financial-aid options and requirements.


New Online Courses

Fiscal Policy

Inflation, unemployment, recession, economic growth—these economic concepts affect people in very real ways. In two thought-provoking, interactive lessons, learn about fiscal policy, the avenue by which Congress and the president attempt to influence the economy.

Monetary Policy

In this course containing three interactive, thought-provoking lessons, learn about monetary policy, the avenue by which the Federal Reserve System influences the economy in order to meet the Fed’s dual mandate of stable prices and full employment.

College 101 Infographic

Be educated and informed. Forecast your financial aid with the FAFSA4caster calculator. Find out what percentage of students received federal financial aid in 2012 and see the results of an April 2013 salary survey. Use the calculator to estimate the size of your monthly loan payment and the annual salary required to manage that payment. Learn about the top 75 college destinations with a link to the College Destination Index. Identify some of the reasons students select particular colleges...and more.


The Invisible Paw:  Economics Through Timeless Berenstain Bear Books

You likely read these stories to your students or have them on a shelf for your students to read. Here’s a great way to include some economics and personal finance instruction while reading an old favorite. We have developed three new lessons to help you do just that.

The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies

The little cubs learn that they must make choices because they cannot have everything they want. Students follow along with the story by completing an activity listing all of the goods that will satisfy the cubs’ wants. The students then construct a word web and graphic organizer (table) to identify goods that will satisfy a want. They identify the problem of scarcity, make a choice, and identify their opportunity cost.

The Berenstain Bears: Old Hat New Hat

Students make a choice about what they want to eat for dinner, but then they are asked to trade with a partner and discuss whether they like their new dinner better. Based on this discussion, they learn about preferences. Then they hear a story about a little bear who looks at many hats to see if he can find a new one he likes. Students will relate key concepts from the lesson to the story and create a hat to discuss their own choices and preferences with the class.

The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money

Mama and Papa Bear use several figures of speech relating to money. Students draw a picture of a bank and write a caption explaining their illustration. Students follow along with the story by listening for additional figures of speech and how they relate to the concepts of banks and interest. The students also construct a story map of an event in the story relating to why people choose to keep their money in banks.