Showing posts with label Global Economics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global Economics. Show all posts

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Game for Learning About International Trade

This post contains content that I originally published a couple of years ago. An email from a reader who was looking for suggestions on activities for teaching global trade prompted me to pull these resources from my archive.

The multimedia library on The Economist contains a set of cartoon videos explaining some big concepts in economics. Of the six cartoons, the cartoon on international trade has the broadest appeal. The video is appropriate as an introduction to the topic for middle school and high school students.

After watching the video on international trade have your students put their new knowledge to use in Trading Around the World from the International Monetary Fund. The object of the game is to provide students with knowledge of the variables affecting international trade. Students experience the impact of each variable by playing the game as a representative of a country or region that is trying to buy or sell resources. The overall object of the game is to accumulate cash through buying and selling natural resources.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Guides to the Global Economy for Students

The Global is a nice resource developed for high school and undergraduate students by Georgia State University Economics Professor Neven Valev. The purpose of is to provide guides to understanding the economies of individual countries and the global economy in aggregate.

To accomplish the goal of helping students understand global economics, offers a database of articles about the economies of individual countries. You can select any country from the list of more than 200 to find basic economic indicators about that country. The country profiles include not just the data associated with economic indicators, but also explanations of the indicators, and graphs of the data in comparison with other countries.

To enable quick, visual comparisons of economic indicator data provides an easy-to-use comparison tool. On the comparison page you can select a set of data and the countries that you want to compare. The comparison is then shown in the form of a graph.

Applications for Education could be a great reference tool for high school and undergraduate students studying economics. According to the site's developer, it is intended to students who are not majoring in economics or politics, it is intended to be a primer or introductory reference.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

11 Videos for Economics Lessons

Economics can be a tricky topic teach. I've often found that students are interested in learning about how the economy works, but struggle with some of the concepts. The following videos could be handy the next time you're designing an economics lesson plan.

Common Craft offers a set of six videos addressing some basic concepts in economics. Embedded below you will find Saving Money (Compound Interest) In Plain English and Stock Markets in Plain English. (If you're viewing this in RSS you will need to click through to see the videos).

2008 sent the economy into a tailspin. Say It Visually created a short animated video to help kids (and adults) understand the causes and effects.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized is an eleven minute overview of factors contributing to the decline of US economy beginning in 2008.

Just how much is one trillion dollars? has a one minute video explanation.

PBS Video offers a one hour program about the 1929 Stock Market Crash. You can view the whole program on the PBS Video site. I've embedded the first segment below. offers a series of rap music videos to explain some of the concepts that have driven economic policies in the US since the New Deal. As some readers have commented in the past, the videos do lean toward Keynesian economics.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Economics Education Resources

The International Monetary Fund has some good resources that can help you help your students gain an understanding of global economics. On the IMF education page you can find resources for middle school students and high school students. One of the middle school resources I like is a game called Where in the World & What in the World is Money? For high school students Monetary Mania is a game in which students can test their knowledge of economic theories. Beyond the games, teachers will find complete sets of lesson plans for teaching lesson economics to middle school and high school students.

If you're in need of a good visual representation of the World's economic outlook, check out the IMF's Data Mapper. The IMF Data Mapper allows you to see the current, past, and predicted distribution of wealth around the world. Use the slider tabs on the IMF Data Mapper to change the map's display.

Applications for EducationThe IMF's games for students are fun tools for students to play and test their knowledge after you've conducted an economics lesson. The Data Mapper provides students with an excellent view of the distribution of wealth around the world.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Interactive Guides to Global Issues

The Council on Foreign Relations has a nice collection of interactive guides to contemporary global political and economic issues. In all there are twenty-three guides in the collection. Some of the topics the guides cover are nuclear energy, the Iraq War, tensions in the Korean Peninsula, the global economy, and climate change. Each guide is divided into chapters. Each chapter contains videos, graphics, text, and timelines to help viewers understand the many layers of each issue.

Applications for Education
The Council on Foreign Relations' interactive guides are a good example of why digital materials are replacing textbooks. Even the most recent social studies texts at my school don't include the depth of content for the global economy, Iraq War, and most of the other issues covered by the interactive guides available from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

10 Resources for Teaching & Learning Economics

As I've mentioned in the past, I really enjoy teaching economics because talking about money generally gets my students excited (if not excited, at least very interested). Here are some of the resources I've either created or used to teach economics lessons over the last few years.

1. Captains of Industry is an economics simulation activity that I used in my US History class this week. Original version of this activity was developed by my colleague Jason Long. What I'm sharing here is the activity as I've modified it for my classroom. My version is about 75% the same as Jason's original. The point of the activity is for students to experience and experiment with the tactics of American businessmen in the second half of the 19th century. Before trying the activity it is best for students to have some familiarity with the business practices of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Morgan. You can access the activity in a Google Doc here.

2. Life on Minimum Wage is a simulation I designed for students to recognize how difficult it is to save money when your only job(s) pay minimum wage without benefits. To win (prize not determined yet) at Life on Minimum Wage the students have to reach five financial goals that they select. To earn money the students have to complete the tasks of their assigned jobs. The students then have to pay required bills before using money for their selected financial goals. As the game progresses students will be issued "surprise" cards which require them to spend money on things like speeding tickets, trips to a health clinic, and increases in rent. All of the jobs in Life on Minimum Wage are connected so that if one "business" slows production or closes, the workers of another business are also effected. The goal here is to demonstrate the effects of a business closing on a small town's economy. I've published all of the rules of the game and needed "cards" as a Google Document which you can view here.

3. On the Scholastic website is a Kid's Economic Glossary that explains some basic banking and investing concepts in terms that upper elementary and middle school students can understand.

BizEd is a great resource for economics lessons and virtual field trips. I started using BizEd a few years ago and it has been a valuable resource to me ever since. BizEd is a UK based website so some of the lessons and activities have to be manipulated a little bit for use in US classrooms, but the overall value of activities is fantastic. Some of the highlights for teachers are frequently updated lesson plans, a comprehensive glossary of terms, slide shows available for download, and fantastic virtual field trips. BizEd even has an RSS feed that provides subscribers to updates in the lesson plans, activities, and reference section of BizEd.

Planet Money is a production of NPR covering the global economy. One of the services Planet Money offers is regular podcasts containing news and lessons about the economy. Economics teacher Heather Hanemann has developed lesson plans using Planet Money podcasts. Two of the lessons are about banks and bank regulators. The other lessons "Everyday Economics" provides listening comprehension worksheets to use with a half dozen Planet Money podcasts.

Debt Ski is a fun game (if you enjoyed late 80's - early 90's video games) for learning about personal finance. The object of the game is to accumulate as much savings and as little debt as possible. Players choose one of three lifestyle objectives "thrifty," "average," or "big spender." After choosing an objective players have to, in a Mario Brothers-style, accumulate coins and necessities while avoiding unexpected expenses.

7, 8, 9. Common Craft has three videos that could be used in a business class, economics class, or in any setting that requires students to have an understanding of banking practices. Here are direct links to each of the three videos: Investing in Plain English, Borrowing in Plain English, Saving in Plain English.

Say It Visually produces videos in a simple and clear, animated style similar to Common Craft. What I like about this video is that it explains the role of individuals in the financial crisis. In this video Say It Visually explains the 2008/09 US financial crisis.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Two Cool Economics Infographics

Cool Infographics is quickly becoming one of my favorite resources for interesting visual depictions of statistics. Today on Cool Infographics there are two infographics that could be useful for teachers of economics. The first of the two is Follow the Money. Follow the Money is a video that summarizes the data collected on Where's George? Where's George? is a website that was established for the purpose of tracking the travels of one dollar bills. Watch the video below.

The second cool economics infographic featured today on Cool Infographics is China Widens Its Reach. China Widens Its Reach is an interactive infographic produced by Forbes. The purpose of the infographic is to allow visitors to view the investments China has made in other countries. Click on any transaction in the infographic to view the details of each investment. (The image below is a screen capture of the infographic, clicking it will take you to the real infographic on

Applications for Education
The title Follow the Money implies that the video follows one dollar bills around the country, but the video actually gets into a much deeper analysis of the data gathered by Where's George? The video explores what the "travels" of one dollar bills represent in terms of cultural boundaries.

China Widens Its Reach could be a good resource for a global economics class. You could have each student in your class study a different transaction and try to explain why China made that particular investment.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The History of Credit Cards in the United States
Saving Money in Plain English
A Pictorial History of Money

Monday, February 8, 2010

How the Federal Reserve Works

Understanding the US Federal Reserve can be a very difficult task. (I have to refresh my memory before I teach it every year). Time has recently produced a short video that attempts to explain the functions of the Federal Reserve in simple terms. The video is just under four minutes in length.

Hat tip to Jeffery Hill for the video.

Applications for Education
Anyone that has tried to teach lessons on the US banking system knows the frustration that can come with trying to help students wrap their heads around the Federal Reserve System. This video doesn't cover it all, but it certainly could be helpful when used as a part of a larger lesson. The video may also give you some ideas for new approaches to explaining the Federal Reserve.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Kid's Economic Glossary
Saving Money in Plain English
The History of Credit Cards in the United States

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Decade in Business - 120 Images and Articles

Through Jeffery Hill's English Blog I recently learned about the Guardian's Decade in Business infographic. The Decade in Business is comprised of 120 images representing various business stories from the past ten years. Click on any image in the infographic to learn more about that story. Most of the stories are based in Europe, but some have a more global basis.

Applications for Education
Teachers of economics may find The Decade in Business to be a good reference for students studying the ups and downs of the economy in the 21st century.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The History of Credit Cards in the United States
Saving Money in Plain English and Other Economics Lessons
Interactive Timeline of the 08/09 Financial Crisis

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Lesson in Investment Diversification

Today's episode of CNN Student News concludes with a segment about the importance of banks diversifying their investments. The segment features an interview with a bank CEO whose bank has survived the economic recession. This segment would go well with Common Craft's Stock Market's in Plain English and Investing in Plain English.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The History of Credit Cards in the United States
Saving Money in Plain English and Other Economics Lessons
Interactive Timeline of the 08/09 Financial Crisis

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Currate - Currency Conversion on a Map

Currate offers an interesting way to compare the value of currencies around the world. Currate uses a Google Map to allow you to quickly compare the value of two country's currencies. To compare currencies simply move the two placemarks provided by Currate onto the country's whose currencies you wish to compare. Click the placemarks and the currency comparisons will appear in a text box.

Applications for Education
Currate could be a useful little tool for teachers of global economics. It could also be useful for anyone that is planning to take students on a trip outside of their country.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A First for the Nobel Prize in Economics

Last week the Nobel Prize winners were announced. At that time I wrote a post about some resources for learning and teaching about the Nobel Prize. Today, CNN Student News contained a segment about a first for the Nobel Prize in economics. This year, for the first time, the prize for economics went to a woman (she was one of two recipients). CNN Student News has the story in the video below.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
BizKids - Business Videos and Lessons for Kids
Debt Ski - A Personal Finance Game
The Crisis of Credit Visualized

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The History of Past Recession Responses

The New York Times has an interactive timeline chronicling how the US government has dealt with past recessions. The timeline starts in 1960 and continues through George W. Bush's administration. The timeline contains five audio segments containing economists talking about the strategies used by past administrations to stimulate the economy.

Applications for Education
This interactive timeline could be a useful resource for anyone teaching economics or 20th Century US History.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Financial Glossary for Students
Investing in Plain English
The Crisis of Credit Visualized

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Economic Fairy Tale

The Economic Fairy Tale is a short video produced by Dodjit for the purpose of explaining the causes of current global economic climate. The video is embedded below.

The Economic Fairy Tale from dodjit on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
This video could be a nice introduction or summary for a lesson on global economics particularly with regard to the mortgage industry.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The Crisis of Credit Visualized
Understanding the Financial Crisis - Say it Visually
Investing in Plain English

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

China's Investment in the US - Global Economics

Today's episode of CNN Student News includes a short segment that could be useful as part of a lesson on global economics. The segment, titled China's Investment in the US, explains why China make treasury investments in the US. The video is embedded below.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Biz Kids - Business Lessons and Videos for Kids
Investing in Plain English
Links You Might Have Missed - Economics Lessons

Thursday, May 7, 2009

KML Factbook - 2D and 3D Mapped Data Displays

The KML Factbook is a great tool for creating mapped displays of all manner of demographic, economic, and political data. The data used in the KML Factbook comes from the CIA World Factbook. The KML Factbook allows users to to select datasets from the CIA World Factbook and display that data on a 2D or 3D map using Google Maps or the Google Earth browser plug-in. After creating your map you can download the file to use offline in Google Earth.

Creating a map is a simple matter of selecting a set data set or sets, choosing 2D or 3D map, and defining the colors and size of placemarks. After making your selections KML Factbook generates the map. If you would like to use your own datasets, you can upload them to the KML Factbook.

Applications for EducationThe KML Factbook could be a useful tool for students of geography, political science, and global economics. Data maps are good for providing students with a means to visually compare data sets. I can see the KML Factbook being a great resource for students to quickly compare development indicators of countries in a region or continent.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The BBC News Globe
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
Google Earth Links You Might Have Missed

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Links You Might Have Missed - Economics Lessons

This 12th installment of the "Links You Might Have Missed" series focuses on resources for teaching about economics. The previous installments in this series featured resources for Science, Math, Language Arts, Foreign Language, Google Earth, Digital Presentations, History, College Planning, Geography, and History.

Here are ten economics resources that you might have missed the first time they were posted.
1. Who are the G-20?
2. Financial Glossary for Students
3. Investing in Plain English
4. How Much is One Trillion Dollars?
5. The Crisis of Credit Visualized
6. Economic Education Resources from the IMF
7. Understanding the Financial Crisis from Say It Visually
8. Saving Money in Plain English and Other Economics Lessons
9. The History of Credit Cards in the United States
10. The Story of Stuff

FREE National Geographic map with purchases $65+!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Who are the G-20?

Today's episode of CNN Student News leads off with a segment about the G-20 conference. The segment provides an overview of the topics being discussed at the G-20 conference. In the second segment of the episode a reporter hits the streets to find out if anyone can identify the various leaders of the G-20 countries. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Today's episode of CNN Student News could be a good introduction to a lesson in global economics and international relations. One point raised in the video that could be a good discussion question is; in light of the recent economic downturn, what obligation do wealthier countries have to help the poorer countries of the world?