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Education Resources

Lessons and Activities: Middle School

Try some of these lesson plans and classroom activities for teaching economics or personal finance.

  • Basic Economic Concepts
  • International
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Personal Finance

Basic Economic Concepts

History, literature, and economics in the middle school classroom
Reading the apartheid-era Journey to Jo'burg will help your middle school students learn about human capital, especially how apartheid affected the development of human capital. Extra Credit suggests this book and others for the middle school classroom.
Spring 2012


Selling Korean tractors in Italy: Introducing middle school students to global linkages
Middle schoolers sometimes complain that the subject of economics doesn't relate to them. How can you get their interest? Start with a concrete story about how globalization touches them directly. Could they end up selling Caterpillars in Croatia? Medicine in Macedonia? Read more in Extra Credit.
Spring 2012

Activity for middle and high school: Free trade, anyone?
Students will read an Extra Credit article on the benefits and trade-offs of free trade, create an outline of the main argument and central tenets, and play a game that reinforces the key concepts: comparative versus absolute advantage, opportunity cost, specialization, and the trade-offs of free trade. 55 minutes
Spring 2008


All about Money Primer
How can Bart Simpson possibly help students understand about money? This article offers this primer, which weaves in a Simpsons episode, to help educators get their students to deepen their understanding of money and finance.
Fall 2013

Meet FRED's Brother, GeoFRED: Blending Technology, Geography, and Data
Do your middle schoolers need to learn how to analyze data? No problem! Do they need to hone their geography skills? Easy! Knock out both with GeoFRED, an online data mapping tool.
Spring 2013

Middle and high school activity on choices of payment methods
Although Americans still wrote 33 billion checks in 2006, check usage is declining, giving way to electronic payment methods such as debit and credit cards and automated clearinghouse transactions.
Spring 2008


Battling dads illustrate supply and demand? Using movie clips in the economics classroom
The latest issue of Extra Credit discusses how clips from popular movies can extend learning beyond the textbook and help teachers reinforce some basic economics concepts.
Spring 2012

"Physical economics": Get students moving while they learn economics
Childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions. Extra Credit offers tips for incorporating physical activity in your economics lessons.
Spring 2012

Using humor and fiction to teach market basics to middle schoolers
Gary Paulsen's book Lawn Boy is a zany adventure about an enterprising boy looking for a way to make some cash. According to the latest issue of Extra Credit, this book is also an excellent tool for teaching your middle schoolers basic market terms.
Spring 2012

Personal Finance

Teaching economics and personal finance concepts to middle school students
Middle school teachers: take your teaching to the next level by sharing important life skills information with your students. In this month's edition of Extra Credit, two southeastern educators share their ideas for ways to integrate economics and personal finance into the curriculum.
Fall 2011

Investment Investigator
This activity introduces the concepts of investment vehicles, return on investment, and risk.
Spring 2009

Meaningful budgeting activities for teens
Two Tennessee educators recently shared their activities for engaging students in budgeting lessons they can relate to.
Spring 2009

Lesson on banking and budgeting
This five-day unit will introduce middle school students to the basics of budgeting and banking.
Spring 2009

Gas Buddy
Students use the Internet to investigate habits surrounding gasoline use, current news clips on gas prices, historic prices of gas, and the impact of gas prices on consumers.
Spring 2007