Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to School: Lessons in Economics

So we told you last week that we were going to spend August sharing some great resources with you for bringing agriculture into your classrooms. I mean, after all, shouldn't everyone know where there food comes from and how it got from the farm gate to their plate? But if you thought we were only going to share science lessons with you, think again!

Everyone is talking about the economy these days. In fact, it seems that about all adults have talked about for the last two years. But kids need to learn about economics, too...about supply and demand and the industries that keep our state and our country running. And folks, some of those key industries are agriculture.

Yep, you heard me right. While farmers account for less than 2 percent of our country's population, agriculture is the largest industry in Ohio today. And it's not "just farming." It's biotechnology and research. It's green energy. It's food processing and animal care. It's an industry that touches your life each and every day in more ways that you can count. I promise.

So it only makes sense to talk about agriculture when you're teaching students about economics. But how do you merge the two? Easy! Producing Ohio: Creating our Economy has everything you need to teach 5th - 8th graders about economics. It's an interactive, multimedia economics curriculum with dynamic and entertaining cross-curricular lessons designed to give students the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the classroom and in life.

The curriculum includes real-life applications representing a range of industries and enterprises as it explores key economic principles from the inside out. Students go to the farm, get on the production line with manufacturing, and visit the education and service sectors. As they make their way through 11 lesson and five segmented video, students will meet 16 essential economic standards recommended by the National Council on Economic Education. Each unit includes structured lesson plans, black line masters, Web-based activities and opportunities to integrate economics across the curriculum:

  • In Factors of Production students look at a rural school district to determine the factors involved with delivering a service: education.
  • Markets and Prices takes students to a farm in America's Corn Belt to study the supply & demand chain, and students explore how a consumer purchasing corn flakes is linked to the cereal producer, grain buyer and ultimately the farmer.
  • The telecommunications industry is a perfect example for students to learn about Monopoly & Competitive Markets.
  • Markets & Competition  are driven by targeted market research, trends, product innovation and advertising in this example featuring a popular drink targeted to tweens.
  • The gloabl market takes center stage as students explore International Trade through design, manufacturing and comparing the competitive advantage U.S. suppliers of specialized machinery enjoy & the various advantages that support imported materials and products from Brazil.

Producing Ohio kits are available for online ordering ($65 each). Producing Ohio is a collaborative project of the Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation/CET and the Economics Center for Education and Research at the University of Cincinnati.

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