How do you define economics? What's it all about? How does the economy relate
to our lives and what's the difference between democracy as a political system
and capitalism as an economic system? Lots of good questions to ask and this
lesson provides an interactive and fun way for students to work together on
the answers. Welcome to Defining Economics, a lesson from the Teaching
Economics As If People Mattered series, brought to you by United for A Fair
Economy, Reach And Teach, and Tamara Giecek. Everything you need to teach this
lesson to a High School group, an after-school youth group, or in a faith-based
organization is right here on this page.
The following information will help you prepare to have a lively, engaging,
and effective hour of learning with your group. This page includes an animated
presentation which introduces all the concepts taught in the lesson and
shows you, step-by-step, how to prepare for and teach the lesson. Print out
the lesson plan and charts and then launch the animated overview (below).
This lesson, which takes approximately one classroom hour (55 minutes) has
the following learning objectives:
- Define economics and discuss how the economy relates to our lives.
- Differentiate between democracy as a political system and capitalism as
an economic system.
Concepts and Key Terms
The following concepts and key terms are covered in this lesson:
- consume / consumer
- goods and services
- American dream
Download Lesson Plan
- Click here to
download the entire lesson plan (requires Adobe Acrobat)
Before viewing this presentation, you will need to download and print out the
lesson plan and you also need to have writing paper and a pen or pencil. The
presentation includes a voice-over so please turn your computer speakers on.
The presentation provides an overview of the concepts covered in Defining
Economics as well as step by step instructions for carrying out the lesson
plan in your classroom. The entire multimedia presentation takes approximately
here to view the presentation
Articles and Other Web Resources
While the lesson plan provides everything you need to carry out the lesson
in your classroom, you may want to familiarize yourself with recent articles
and web resources concerning the issues raised in this lesson. We have selected
several for you and have linked to them below. We encourage you to explore other
resources and ask that you let us know of other links we should add to this
National Standards Mapping
This specific contents and discussion topics provided for in this lesson map
into the following National Council on Economics Education (NCEE)
- Standard 1 (consumers and consumer economics)
- Standard 2 (effective decision making)
- Standard 3 (economic systems)
- Standard 16 (role of government)
United for A Fair Economy (UFE) and Tamara Giecek created a High School
curriculum based on many of the popular seminars and programs UFE delivers
to adults across the United States. The entire curriculum is available
in book form through the UFE
web site as well as at the Reach
And Teach Store.
Reach And Teach, UFE, and Tamara Sober Giecek are working together to update
the curriculum and create an on-line version of all the lessons similar
to the lesson we have provided on this page. We are currently working
with various foundations and private donors to raise the money needed
to bring this wonderful educational opportunity to the web. Teachers across
America will be able to use the overview presentations to prepare to teach
and then download the lesson plans, share ideas with other teachers about
new ways to teach the lessons, and recommend additional lesson plans to
the Teaching Economics team.
Would you like to help make this a reality? If so, click
here to make a donation to United for A Fair Economy and click the
Ten Chairs box to designate your donation to helping us get the rest of
the Teaching Economics lessons on the web!