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  • Economic Lowdown Lessons
10 FRED Activities in 10 Minutes
Rating

Take a 10-minute guided tour of FRED, the St. Louis Fed's free economic data website. Simple step-by-step activities equip users to find and graph economic data, mastering FRED's look and feel. The guide also shows how to customize, save, and share a FRED graph.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Mark Bayles
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Abraham Lincoln and the $5 Note
Rating

Students participate in a puzzle activity to identify leadership characteristics that Abraham Lincoln possessed. They review the changes in the redesigned $5 note and consider how Lincoln's leadership characteristics contribute to the fact that he is pictured on the $5 note. Students look at a timeline of Lincoln's life and identify significant events in his road to the White House. They play a game to review content learned in the lesson.

Subject:
Finance
U.S. History
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
The Acceleration of the Great Migration, 1916-17
Rating

Students work in groups to examine excerpts from primary source documents. They identify social and economic factors affecting specific categories of people when the Great Migration accelerated in 1916 to 1917: black migrant workers from the South, southern planters, southern small-farm farmers, northern industrialists, agents, and white immigrant workers in the North. Each student group creates a "perspectives page" to post for a gallery walk where students analyze the causes of the Great Migration and the changes it brought to both the North and South. Students also discuss the specific economic factors that influenced the Great Migration: scarcity, supply, demand, surplus, shortage, and opportunity cost. Using the PACED decisionmaking model, they analyze the alternatives and criteria of potential migrants.

Subject:
U.S. History
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Eva Johnston
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
Rating

In the story, Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, Alexander receives a dollar from his grandparents that he plans to save, but he spends it all, a little at a time. In this lesson, students count by twos to fill a container with 100 pennies. They are asked whether 100 pennies is the same amount of money as one dollar. They listen to the story and as Alexander spends his money, students come up and remove the correct number of pennies from a container. At the end of the story, students are again asked if 100 pennies is the same amount of money as one dollar. Students discuss the choices that Alexander made and give advice on how he could save his money to reach his goal of buying a walkie-talkie.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Mary C. Suiter
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Alternative Financial Services Infographic
Rating

Be an informed consumer. Understand the costs and benefits of various alternative financial services, such as payday loans, pawn shops, car title loans, rent-to-own, and refund anticipation checks. Compare these to more traditional financial services provided through banks and credit unions.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Analyzing the Elements of Real GDP in FRED Using Stacking
Rating

This online activity shows how to use FRED, the Federal Reserve's free online economic data website, to analyze changes in real gross domestic product (GDP) and GDP makeup over time. Following simple instructions, you will locate spending data for the individual components of real GDP, and then combine them into a highly informative area graph. You will also use FRED's ability to stack data and see how trade—imports and exports—contributes to GDP. The resulting customized graph will let you see how economic output varies from year to year.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Mark Bayles
Date Added:
09/11/2019
The Art of Decisionmaking Online Course for Teachers and Students
Rating

If you look at what psychologists consider to be high-level stressors, you'll find a list of about 40 life events. We have no control over many of these events, but for more than half, we do. So much of our stress and success in life depends on the decisions we make. In this short course, your students will learn the economic underpinnings of the need to make decisions, why every decision bears a cost, and how to make informed decisions.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Bankruptcy Basics
Rating

Students learn that bankruptcy is a federal court proceeding designed to help individuals address debt problems and to provide fair treatment to creditors. They learn the six different types of bankruptcy; however, the lesson focuses on the two types of bankruptcies used mostly by consumers: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. They analyze bankruptcy terms and learn the similarities and differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 procedures. They also participate in an activity that requires them to work collaboratively to match a bankruptcy step with its correct description. As an assessment, they review scenarios and suggest the best bankruptcy option. This lesson assumes that students are familiar with credit, uses of credit, types of credit, and basic credit terminology.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Vicki Fuhrhop
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Beatrice's Goat
Rating

In this lesson, students listen to a story about Beatrice, a little girl from Uganda, who receives a goat and the impact of that goat on her family. They learn what it means to save and use estimation to decide whether or not people have enough money to reach a savings goal. They also work through a set of problems requiring that they identify how much additional money people must save to reach their goals. Students learn what opportunity cost is and identify the opportunity costs of savings decisions made by Beatrice and her family.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Bonnie Meszaros
Mary C. Suiter
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Ben Franklin: Highlighting the Printer
Rating

Students will learn that money is an invention. They will read and analyze an essay focusing primarily on one aspect of Ben Franklin's life his work as a printer and how he was an inventor and entrepreneur who also promoted the use of currency in the United States. Students will cite specific textual evidence regarding problems and solutions and will answer questions and complete a timeline. By using evidence and information gleaned from text, students will write a fictitious social media post defending the selection of Ben Franklin's portrait for the $100 note.

Subject:
Finance
U.S. History
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies
Rating

In this lesson, students hear a story about Brother and Sister Bear, who seem to want everything. 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 take part in an activity to construct a word web and graphic organizer (table) to identify goods that will satisfy a want. They will make a choice, identify the problem of scarcity, and recognize their opportunity cost.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Erin A. Yetter
Date Added:
09/11/2019
The Berenstain Bears: Old Hat New Hat
Rating

In this lesson, 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 and how they help us make choices. Students then 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.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Erin A. Yetter
Date Added:
09/11/2019
The Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Money
Rating

In this lesson, students hear a story about two little bears whose parents 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.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Erin A. Yetter
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Budgeting 101 Online Course for Teachers and Students
Rating

Budgeting is the most basic and most important tool in anyone's financial toolbox. With this resource, students are given the hands-on opportunity to create budgets for fictional "Regan" during her sophomore year in nursing school, and, later, as a recent graduate with an apartment and a new car. Using either Microsoft® Excel or Google Docs, the students download our budgeting tool with space for their own budget, as well as the examples they created by establishing Regan's budget.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
CPI Market Basket
Rating

In this lesson, students will explore a market basket of goods and services and determine what is in each category in the market basket. Students learn that the consumer price index (CPI) is made up of market basket goods and services for which the prices are compared each month to determine if the price of any of the items has changed and if there has been inflation. Students will engage in role-play scenarios to understand the effects of inflation.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Eva Johnston
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Capital Markets Online Course for Teachers and Students
Rating

Capital markets include the stock and bond markets, and this is where businesses turn for funding when they need investors. In this course, students will learn how capital markets keep the economy moving and how they provide opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs and investors to achieve their goals.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Cards, Cars, and Currency Curriculum Unit
Rating

Cards, Cars and Currency is a curriculum unit that challenges students to become involved in three specific areas of personal finance: credit cards, debit cards and purchasing a car.

Subject:
Finance
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
10/06/2014
Cards, Cars, and Currency Online Course for Teachers and Students
Rating

Cards, Cars and Currency is a set of personal finance programs that encourages participants to learn about three areas of personal finance: credit cards, debit cards and purchasing a car. Cards, Cars and Currency includes five individual programs that can be used together or individually to enhance personal finance learning.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Cars and Condos: Budgeting Income To Cover Expenses
Rating

There are two sides to a budget—income and expenses. When asked how to best balance a budget, people often respond by saying to reduce or eliminate expenses. In this lesson, students choose a car and a housing option and, using these expenses, determine if the income they earn from the occupation they’ve chosen will be sufficient when other expenses are added. If they determine it is insufficient, they seek ways they could increase the income side of the budget by improving their human capital.

Subject:
Finance
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Barbara Flowers
Mary C. Suiter
Date Added:
09/11/2019
The Case of the Shrunken Allowance
Rating

Students listen to a story about P.B. who thinks money is missing from the peanut butter jar on his window ledge. In addition to basic concepts of saving and spending, students learn currency equivalency and some measurement concepts.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Mary C. Suiter
Date Added:
09/11/2019
The Castaways Discover GDP
Rating

In this lesson, students learn the definition of gross domestic product (GDP) and the four expenditure categories of GDP. Then, they participate in a readers’ theater about castaways on an island who learn about GDP. Students record examples of items produced on the island that are examples of consumer, government, and investment spending. They recognize that, without trade, there is no net export category for the island.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
George Fortier
Mary Suiter
Scott Wolla
Date Added:
09/11/2019
A Chair for My Mother
Rating

Students read A Chair for My Mother, about a little girl and her family who save money to buy a chair after their furniture is destroyed in a fire. Students learn that characters in the book are human resources who save part of the income they earn. Students identify other human resources, discuss how their work allows them to earn income and name strategies that will help them reach a savings goal. (Book written by Vera B. Williams / ISBN: 068804074-8)

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Barbara Flowers
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Clifford and the Big Storm
Rating

Students are read a series of two options and are asked to decide which options are more dangerous. They then learn about risk and how to prevent or reduce risk by taking precautions. Next they listen to a story about risk, where Clifford, the big red dog, helps reduce the risk of danger by taking precautions. After the story, the students complete a story sequencing activity based on Clifford’s actions. Finally, they recognize that Clifford does not exist in the real world and talk about people in their families and communities that help protect them from risk.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Erin A. Yetter
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Comparative Advantage
Rating

This series of slides presents the production possibilities frontiers for Alphatown and Omegaville and illustrates their comparative advantage in the production of apples and potatoes, leading to specialization and trade.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
10/06/2014
Comparative Advantage Short Online Courses for Teachers and Students
Rating

In the Comparative Advantage courses, students meet Jack Of All Trades, a most awesome superhero. In all tasks, Jack can do everything better and faster (he has absolute advantage), but does that mean he must do everything while the rest of the people stand around helplessly? Find out if justice is served when a formerly idle citizen, Andy, wades through the depths of opportunity cost and the benefits of comparative advantage.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Constitutionality of a Central Bank
Rating

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.

Subject:
U.S. History
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Mary Suiter
Scott Wolla
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Counting with Common Cents
Rating

In this lesson, students practice counting as the book Counting with Common Cents is read. As they count pennies, nickels, and dimes, they place those coins on the appropriate spot on a handout, indicating how many pennies are equal to a nickel and a dime. They discuss saving their pennies and draw a picture of an item they would like to buy. In an optional activity, they draw pictures or write notes indicating chores they would do to earn 10 pennies.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Barbara Flowers
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Creating and Analyzing a Binary Map
Rating

This online activity demonstrates how easy it is to master key functions in GeoFRED, the data-mapping tool for FRED. In just a few minutes you can create an engaging binary map that will spur comments and questions. The binary map created in this demonstration displays the following data: real per capita personal income, not seasonally adjusted, quarterly, dollars.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Mark Bayles
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Credit Cred Online Course for Teachers and Students
Rating

Credit can be a powerful tool in your financial toolbox if you understand how to use it wisely. In this course, you'll learn about different types of credit and the costs associated with using credit. You'll learn the importance of building strong credit by borrowing wisely and paying promptly, arranging credit for making major purchases like a car or home, avoiding common credit mistakes, and monitoring your own credit. You'll also learn about credit reports, your credit score, and steps you can—and should—take to build your own credit cred!

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Credit History and Equal Opportunity
Rating

In this lesson, students first learn how credit history and credit scores are determined. Then, to better understand the protections of the Equal Credit Opportunities Act, they participate in a card-sorting activity where they evaluate creditworthiness based on borrower characteristics, determine which characteristics may be legally considered, and sort the applicants from most likely to least likely to get a loan. Next, they examine a primary source document to see how information that can be legally used to evaluate credit changed with the act. In an optional extension activity, students sort cards again to match primary borrowers with cosigners. They then learn about the pros and cons of cosigning.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Eva Johnston
Genevieve Podleski
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Crowding Out
Rating

Students learn that the loanable funds market is a virtual clearing house matching borrowers and savers. They participate in an activity to demonstrate crowding out in the loanable funds market. They use demand and supply analysis to graphically represent the results of crowding out.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Barbara Flowers
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Curious George Saves His Pennies
Rating

In the story Curious George Saves His Pennies, George wants to buy a new bright-red train, but he does not have enough money. At the suggestion of his friend, George saves his money to buy the train. In this lesson, the students draw an outline of a piggy bank, within which they write a word for or draw a picture of something they would like to buy. This becomes their savings goal. They listen to the story, and as George finds some ways to earn money, the students come up with ways they can earn money to reach their savings goals. Students are introduced to the difference between income and gift money. They participate in an activity where they determine if they are receiving income or gift money and how many weeks it will take them to reach their savings goal. Students also discuss why George did not buy the original red train he wanted.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Bonnie Meszaros
Dilek Eruslu
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Diversification and Risk
Rating

Students are given a portfolio of investments, and they assess the relative risk associated with the products in their portfolios. They later determine which savings and investment instruments might be most suitable for clients of different ages and economic status.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Barbara Flowers
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Earth Day - Hooray!
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Students listen to the book Earth Day Hooray! and learn how incentives change people's behavior. The students learn how 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 evaluate scenarios to determine what behavior is being encouraged or discouraged and to identify whether the incentives are rewards or penalties.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Billy Britt
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Econ Lowdown Glossary Flash Cards
Rating

Vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary is the first step in learning a new discipline like economics or personal finance. We can help with that! Create and print flashcards, or have your students create and print their own, from more than 300 economics and personal-finance terms. Create flashcards for each new chapter or unit of study.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Economic Growth Online Course for Teachers and Students
Rating

Our standard of living depends on the pace of economic growth. That pace can be enhanced through increased productivity brought about by investment in physical and human capital and advances in technology. In this course, students will learn about these tools to increase productivity and advance our standard of living.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Editing the Legend and Changing Colors by Mapping an Oil Boom
Rating

This online activity demonstrates how simple it is to use key tools in GeoFRED to focus on regional economic growth and development. The activity examines U.S. unemployment data at the county level to explore how employment was affected by the energy boom around the time of the Great Recession.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Ella Saves Today E-book
Rating

Young children are not likely to think past their piggy banks when it comes to safe places to set money aside for those special items. In this short e-book from our Ella's Adventures series, they'll learn that a bank account offers security and a return on savings.

Subject:
Finance
Economics
Material Type:
Lesson
Reading
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Ella Saves Today Online Course for Teachers and Students
Rating

Young children are not likely to think past their piggy banks when it comes to safe places to set money aside for those special items. In this short course from our Ella's Adventures series, your students will learn that a bank account offers security and a return on their savings.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
09/11/2019
Everything Including the Kitchen Sink - Progressive Reforms and Economic Wealth in the 1920s Lesson for Grades 10-12
Rating

Students learn that economic forces have an impact beyond the financial world. First, they learn that Progressive Era public health reforms inspired a commercial response to the growing demand for sanitation through the rapid increase in bathroom-fixture production. Students then use FRED, economic data from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, to analyze how bathroom-fixture production changed throughout the 1920s. They examine primary documents—1920s advertising—to see how companies fused the Progressive Era with the new consumer culture. Finally, students complete the lesson by responding to AP U.S. History-style short-answer questions.

Subject:
U.S. History
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Author:
Mark Bayles
Mike Kaiman
Date Added:
09/11/2019