How the Economy Works: A Lesson in Vocabulary
- Grades: 3–5
Use the Scholastic News Online Special Report: Economy for Kids to help students understand both general economic terms and the roots of the current crisis.
- Learn important terminology related to the American economic system, including “credit,” “debt,” and “Bailout Bill”
- Learn how to distinguish between a healthy and weak economy
- Computer(s) with Internet access
Set-Up and Prepare
- Preview the Special Report prior to the lesson.
Step 1: To activate prior knowledge, ask students what they have heard about the American economy in the news lately. Chances are, students have heard terms bandied about that they do not completely understand. List these words on the board or interactive whiteboard.
Step 2: Divide students into groups of two or three and assign each team a word from the list. Demonstrate how to consult the Scholastic News Online Kid's Economic Glossary to check the meaning of the word. Then have each team look up its word and report back to the class.
Step 3: Challenge students to complete the word-search game, which reviews 10 main economic words. Students should complete the word search on their own, consulting the online glossary as needed.
Step 4: Now that students have a working vocabulary of economics, invite them to use some of the other features of the Special Report: Economy for Kids. Some learners might watch the video report on the New York Stock Exchange, while others may read interviews with members of the U.S. House of Representatives about the crisis and the controversial Bailout Bill. If you wish, ask students to summarize one article, video, or interview.
Step 5: Reassure worried students that although the American economy is weak right now, the government and others are taking steps to turn it around. Also, be sure to congratulate students on tackling a tough subject. Let them know that if they have even a partial understanding of the current economic crisis, they are ahead of many grownups! And be sure to check back periodically for news about the economic recovery on Scholastic News Online.
Have students choose any publicly traded company. Have them find out the company’s stock symbol, then check Web sites or the financial section of the newspaper for daily stock quotes.
Send home a note letting parents know about the economy-related resources available at Scholastic News Online. The articles, glossary, and budget tips are tools that parents can use to discuss the crisis at home.