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Classroom Economist

GDP Resources

High School
The ABCs of GDP
This article from Extra Credit explains the components of GDP and includes a lesson teaching students to identify examples of components of GDP and to differentiate between real and nominal GDP.

Core Concept Cards
Core Concept Cards provide a strong foundation of economic and personal finance vocabulary for secondary students. Games, activities, and online interactives are available to help students develop an economic way of thinking and advanced money management skills.

Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)
Download, track, and create your own customizable graphs of GDP data with this online data tool.

GDP and Pizza
A two-day online course designed to help students in civics, economics, and other social studies classes grasp the difficult topic of gross domestic product (GDP) and to explain why these topics are important to understand.

GDP Growth, the Unemployment Rate, and Okun's Law
This article explains the connection between GDP growth and the unemployment rate and clarifies the theory of Okun's Law. (Extra Credit offers a teacher's reading guide to accompany this article.)

The Great Depression
This era offers an excellent opportunity for teaching about economics, whether it's by looking at the economic reasons that the Depression took place, the factors that helped it come to an end, or the impact on Americans who lived through it. The Great Depression curriculum includes economic lessons that teachers can use in the classroom. Download the paper version of the lessons or use the online learning modules.

Gross Domestic Product: Measuring the Economy
This PowerPoint slideshow from the DataPost series outlines the components of GDP and places these components within the context of recent values published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

National Economic Indicators Calendar
This resource contains a calendar with links to charts outlining current economic conditions. Charts include those in economic growth and output, employment, health sector indicators, household credit conditions, inflation, leading indicators, monetary conditions, and U.S. trade.

Passport to Globalization
In this hands-on lesson, students explore the Federal Reserve's use of easy and tight monetary policy to address domestic economic problems. They investigate how monetary policy can affect people differently in the foreign exchange market and how this impact, in turn, affects our nation's GDP and standards of living in the international marketplace. When students complete the activities in this lesson, they receive their "passport" to understanding how Federal Reserve Board policies can affect the dynamics of international trade and globalization. 

Note: Before teaching this lesson, see the note to teachers on page 4 concerning exchange rates.

Teaching Tips: Recession 101
This series provides ways that teachers can integrate current issues and research into their classrooms using Federal Reserve research. This installment in the series looks at the article "Recession 101: When is a downturn a recession?" from the spring 2009 issue of TEN Magazine. Read and discuss the article in class using the direct discussion questions and extension activities.

Which Came First—Democracy or Growth?
In this lesson, students learn to compute real GDP and GDP per capita for three fictional countries. They then answer questions related to actual data on GDP and GDP per capita. Students use the Index of Economic Freedom to compare and contrast the relationship between the degree of a country's economic freedom and the total output of that country and its standard of living.