What have we seen as economic trends between 1980 and today? How has the drive
for economic success impacted families and our daily lives? What are GDP and
GNP and why do we care about them? How do underemployment and shrinking benefits
impact the American dream? These are some of the questions that will be answered
during this lesson. Welcome to Signs of the Economic Times, 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 Sober 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 lesson, which takes approximately one classroom hour (55 minutes) has
the following learning objectives:
- Review economic trends from 1980 through the present.
- Define and compare Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and GDP per
capita with Gross National Product (GNP) and GNP per capita.
- Compare the merits of GDP and GNP as indicators of economic progress with
other social indicators.
- Explore how the drive for economic success has affected families and impacted
- Compare full-employment versus temporary work.
- Discuss downward trends in availability of worker benefits including health
care and retirement plans.
Concepts and Key Terms
The following concepts and key terms are covered in this lesson:
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and GDP per capita
- Gross National Product (GNP), and GNP per capita
- pro-family economic agenda
- economic indicators
Download Lesson Plan
- Click here to download the entire
lesson plan (requires Adobe Acrobat)
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 15 (Growth)
- Standard 16 (Role of Government)
- Standard 17 (Using Cost/Benefit Analysis to Evaluate Government Programs)
- Standard 18 (Macroeconomy-Income/Employment, Prices)
- Standard 19 (Unemployment and Inflation)
United for A Fair Economy (UFE) and Tamara Sober 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 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!
And..... while we're on the subject of people really mattering......... Reach And Teach would also like to suggest you consider this incredible math book by Edward Zaccaro. Students typically are not given the opportunity to see the wondrous side of mathematics because it is often taught as all scales and no music. Help your students:
- Discover the power of mathematics as the danger of short-term loans is exposed in a dramatic fashion
- Investigate math mistakes in news media and their potential consequences
- Watch as mathematics shows the futility of depending on corn-based ethanol to lower our dependence on oil imports
- Learn the surprising answer to how much money a hybrid car will save its owner because of reduced gasoline usage
- Discover what mathematics tells us about teenage drivers.
These and other fascinating math investigations will allow students to see the power of mathematics as it cuts through deception and flawed thinking to reveal the truth. Click here to check out this book!