Economics Lesson Plans

Economics lesson plans are usually the most interesting to students, since it shows how the entire economy around them is flowing! We have some great places to start when you want to talk about economics in your classroom. This also includes lesson plans on taxes.

Economics Lesson Plans For Elementary School And Up

What Are Incentives?

  • Economic Standard Covered: Standard 4 – Incentives
  • Source: EconEdLink, by Connections Cross-Curricular
  • Description: At the core of economics is the incentives for people to do one thing or another. In this lesson plan students identify incentives at home or school, categorize them as “positive” or “negative” and take a look at how they impact their lives

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The ABCs of Saving

  • Economic Standard Covered: Standard 1 – Scarcity
  • Source: EconEdLink, by Patricia Bonner
  • Description: This lesson plan focuses on distinguishing between short-term and long-term goals, and illustrating the opportunity cost between the two. It focuses on creating savings goals, knowing how to store your money, and focusing on building it up to reach your goals.

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Making Cents Out Of Centimes

  • Economic Standard Covered: Standard 7 – Markets and Prices
  • Source: EconEdLink, by Mickey Ebert
  • Description: This lesson plan is a tool for teaching students that most countries build their own currency, along with the Euro, shared by several countries. It also gives an introduction to interest rates, and how $1 is not 1 Euro
  • Using HowTheMarketWorks: HowTheMarketWorks supports having your class portfolio in all kinds of different currencies! Try having your students open a new portfolio in a different currency (or create a second contest in a different currency and have your students join, since all HowTheMarketWorks accounts can join as many contests as you want), and see how the values start moving separately because of the different exchange rates!

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Tic Tac Taxes

  • Economic Standard Covered: Standard – Institutions
  • Source: EconEdLink, by Connections Cross-Curricular
  • Description: This is a basic introduction of looking around at various taxes and services in the community, and identifying how they are all related.
  • Using HowTheMarketWorks: You can have your students use our Home Budget Calculator or Investment Return Calculator to build simple budgets and savings plans with different levels of taxes. For example, ask your students if your town should build a new school or sports arena, and show what impact this would have to each person’s budget or savings plan!

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Who Pays For City Hall?

  • Economic Standard Covered: Standard 10 – Institutions
  • Source: EconEdLink, by Mickey Ebert
  • Description: Students take a virtual field trip to a city hall, and learn about both civil government and how taxes are used to pay for services around town
  • Using HowTheMarketWorks: Similar to above, you can have your students see how an increase in city spending can affect the citizen’s budgets. Since all of our calculators are integrated with our Assignments feature, you can even have them answer the quiz at the end for homework, and see everyone’s progress in your Report Card!

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To Market To Market

  • Economic Standard Covered: Standard 9 – Competition and Market Structure
  • Source: EconEdLink, by Connections Cross-Curricular
  • Description: Students will create a market in the classroom where they can buy and sell goods between each other based on their wants and needs. They can then get a practical experience to see how prices are made and move between consumers
  • Using HowTheMarketWorks: You can also integrate prices for stock into your lesson! Every time a student gets a quote or makes a trade, we show the bid and ask prices for that security, which might be different from the last prices. If the bid and ask are too far apart, no agreement can be reached, and the stock does not trade. This is part of what makes Penny Stocks so risky!

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Country Mouse Makes A Decision

  • Source: EconEdLink, by Mickey Ebert
  • Description: The goal is to create a cost-benefit analysis of Country Mouse on his decisions while he visits the Big City
  • Using HowTheMarketWorks: When your students are putting together their stock portfolio on HowTheMarketWorks, ask them to build a list of stocks they want to buy first. Next, have them only buy half their list at first, and write down why they chose some companies over others!

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Economics Lesson Plans For High School And Up

Fill ‘er up, Please

  • Economic Standard Covered: Standard 8 – Role of Prices
  • Source: EconEdLink, by Abbejean Kehler
  • Description: This lesson shows students how prices are constantly changing, using gasoline as the example. It also covers the basics of supply and demand, and how different components build into the final price.
  • Using HowTheMarketWorks: No prices move as much as stock prices! Have students take a look at the prices moving in their HowTheMarketWorks portfolio, and they can click the “News” button right on the open positions to see what is happening in the world to make that particular stock’s price change.

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Supply And Demand

  • Economic Standard Covered:Standard 7 – Markets and Prices
  • Source: EconEdLink, by Chad Mares
  • Description: Following Fad Toys, students can see how spikes in demand affect prices and the general supply of a good. It follows both the Hula-Hoop fad in the 1950’s, along with Silly Brandz from the last few years, drawing supply and demand charts to visualize the effects.
  • Using HowTheMarketWorks: Your students can also take a look at “Hot Stocks” that surge in value, and then just a few months later come crashing down as investors lose interest! One example is Alibaba stock ([hq]BABA[/hq]), which had the largest IPO in history, followed by losing half of its value in the following months as investors moved elsewhere.

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The Ice Cream Stand

  • Economic Standard Covered: Standard 7 – Markets and Prices
  • Source: EconEdLink, by Michael Koren
  • Description: Students learn about supply, demand, and competition through the example of an ice cream stand. Students then compete by creating their own rival “stands” through the classroom..

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