The first video in our new series, Exploring Economics, is now available online. “The Economics of Infrastructure” introduces elementary and middle school students to often overlooked and undervalued capital resources, such as sewer and water lines, gas pipes, and roads and bridges—collectively known as infrastructure. In this video, students see that we might not give infrastructure a thought, until it’s not there.
Video Companion to the Stock Market Game
“Tools for Enhancing The Stock Market Game™: Invest It Forward™” is a new video series created in cooperation with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation. These videos are designed to help students better understand stocks, bonds, primary and secondary capital markets, saving and investing, the role and benefits of the capital markets, and more. Check them out!
Episode 1—”Understanding Capital Markets”
Episode 2—”Wealth Creation for All”
Video Focuses on Trade
Cletus Coughlin, senior vice president and policy adviser to the president at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, gave a presentation based on his paper “The Great Trade Collapse and Rebound: A State-by-State View” at the Global Economic Forum held July 1, 2014 at the St. Louis Fed. The video has been posted online, and presentation slides are also available. In his talk, Coughlin explains how exports and imports were impacted by the Great Recession and the subsequent recovery. He introduces three common explanations for the decline in trade during this period: aggregate demand, trade finance, and trade barriers. Coughlin’s presentation is based on his paper that appeared in the St. Louis Fed’s Review.
Students Review Economics Topics on Their Own
“The Economic Lowdown” is a podcast series students can download for a little reinforcement of economics. The brief podcasts use clear, simple language to provide extra help in understanding economic principles that affect the choices they make in their everyday lives. Try a few.
Continuing professional development units (CPDUs), certification from the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and St. Louis in teaching economics and personal finance, and graduate credit are at your fingertips. Visit our Teacher Professional Development page to boost your knowledge of inflation, unemployment, economic growth, money, and monetary policy. In the process, you can earn graduate credit ($70 per credit hour from the University of Colorado), Fed certification (free-of-charge from the Fed Banks of Atlanta and St. Louis), or CPDUs. Each topic is a one-graduate-credit-hour course and features an online program for your students, several readings for you, and online assessments.
Have you checked out our lessons to accompany children’s books? Here are some samples of our latest along with some oldies but goodies. Go to www.stlouisfed.org/education/elementary-school to see these and many more.
In this lesson, students listen to a story written in rhyme about a bunny who has a lot of money in her piggy bank. They distinguish between spending and saving and goods and services. They also play a matching game to review the content of the story and to practice rhyming words. (Book written by Marily Sadler/ISBN: 0-375-83370-6)
In this lesson, students learn about sharecropping and tenant farming by listening to the story Cotton in My Sack by Lois Lenski. In the words of the author, “They [the sharecroppers] were part of a vast economic system … but they did not know they were part of it.” In the lesson, students investigate the life of sharecroppers and identify the economic system to which they were connected. Students read and analyze informational text and cite specific textual evidence, comparing and contrasting sharecroppers and tenant farmers. Students complete a chart to identify references to saving, spending, labor, and income as they apply to the sharecroppers. Students use the book’s index to locate specific information in the book. They evaluate the spending and saving choices made by the Hutley family and identify opportunity costs. Students also use evidence and information from the story to complete a writing assignment. (Book written by Lois Lenski / ISBN: B000W77OVO)
In this lesson, students listen to a story about a little girl who wants to make an apple pie. When she finds the market closed, she travels around the world gathering natural resources to make the pie. Students follow along with the story by connecting each natural resource to its country of origin and pointing out those places on a globe or world map. They also identify the capital goods used to transform the natural resources into ingredients by examining the pictures in the book. Through two rounds of a trading activity, students collect the ingredients required for vanilla ice cream to go along with the apple pie. They learn about trade and how middlemen, such as grocery stores, help make trade easier. (Book written by Marjorie Priceman / ISBN: 978-0-679-88083-7)
The book is about a Navajo weaver who uses a number of resources and intermediate goods to make a traditional Navajo rugs. In the accompanying lesson, students are placed in groups to learn about productive resources and intermediate goods. They play a matching game and make posters to classify the natural resources, human resources, capital resources, and intermediate goods used in the story. (Book written by Charles L. Blood and Martin Link / ISBN: 0-689-71418-1)
Earth Day—Hooray!, teaches students how incentives change people’s behavior. Characters in the book collect cans to sell to the recycling center and use the money they receive to buy flowers to plant in the park. In a classroom discussion of the story, students track the number of cans brought to school each day. Students then evaluate scenarios to determine what behavior is being encouraged or discouraged and identify whether the incentives are rewards or penalties. (Book written by Stuart J. Murphy / ISBN: 0-06-000129-1)
In this lesson, students learn about consumers and producers and give examples from the book. They become producers by making bookmarks. They draw pictures on their bookmarks of something that happened at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story. They become consumers when they use their bookmarks to mark a page in a book they are reading. (Book written by Philemon Sturges/ISBN: 978-0-14-230189-0)
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 a story about how the Empire State Building was built and identify examples of key concepts mentioned or shown in the book. (Book written by Deborah Hopkinson?ISBN:13: 970-0-375-86541-1).