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Classroom Economist


Classroom Economist banner image

After eight modules focused on economic topics or on the Federal Reserve System, the Classroom Economist switched gears in 2013 and looked at personal finance themes using the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's popular Katrina's Classroom series.

Each module, starting with the first quarter and finishing with the fourth quarter, will feature video content from the series, plus the familiar components from previous editions. A voice-over PowerPoint lesson features a narrative over slides. Also available is a SMART Board lesson on the topic. (Even if you don’t have a SMART Board, you can open and use the lessons. See instructions.)

The Test Your Knowledge interactive quiz gauges students’ understanding—and yours—of the lesson. (You must view the quiz in slideshow mode. On the ribbon, select the Slide Show tab, then select From Beginning.) Finally, a resources guide provides links to a number of tools that supplement the other materials.

  • Katrina’s Classroom
  • Banking
  • Economic Indicators
  • Federal Reserve

Katrina's Classroom: Financial Lessons from a Hurricane is a four-chapter, DVD-based curriculum that teaches students about financial responsibilities such as budgeting, banking, savings, and wise use of credit. The curriculum includes lesson plans and student activities tied to each five-minute video segment.

Katrina’s Classroom, Lesson 1: Katrina Strikes (updated March 22, 2013)

Watch the accompanying video for this lesson using the YouTube player above, or download it directly to your computer.

This inaugural module of the personal finance series using Katrina’s Classroom is based on the first video, “Lesson 1: Katrina Strikes." The module looks at natural disasters, emergency and financial preparedness—including creating plans and setting goals—risk management, wants and needs, decision making, and scarcity and opportunity cost.

Katrina’s Classroom, Lesson 2: In the Aftermath (updated February 13, 2014)

Watch the accompanying video for this lesson using the YouTube player above, or download it directly to your computer.

Students learn the necessity of keeping important documents and records in a safe place and the benefits of keeping money in a bank. Through demonstrations and activities, they learn how to open an account and make a deposit.

Katrina’s Classroom, Lesson 3: A Fresh Start (updated February 13, 2014)

Watch the accompanying video for this lesson using the YouTube player above, or download it directly to your computer.

Students learn about the wise use of credit cards. Through demonstrations and activities, they analyze different strategies for paying off credit card balances. They learn about the value of having emergency savings.

Katrina’s Classroom, Lesson 4: Back to School (updated February 13, 2014)

Watch the accompanying video for this lesson using the YouTube player above, or download it directly to your computer.

Students learn the importance of budgeting and delayed gratification in order to pursue an education and plan for a meaningful career.

These modules focus on topics related to banking.

Fractional Reserve Banking

The Classroom Economist looks into the inner workings of fractional reserve banking and answers these questions: What role does the Federal Reserve play in the U.S. banking system? What is the money creation potential of deposits? What is the money multiplier?

An Economist's Perspective

Lesson demonstration

PowerPoint Lesson

SMART Board Lesson (.notebook, 3.5 MB)

Test Your Knowledge

Money Museum Lessons (High School) (Kansas City Fed)

Resources Guide

What Is Money?

In this edition, the Classroom Economist offers a close look at money—its definition, the problem it solves, what fiat money accomplishes, and how the Yapese used giant wheels of stone for money.

An Economist's Perspective

Lesson demonstration

PowerPoint Lesson

SMART Board Lesson: Early American Money

SMART Board Lesson: What is Money?

Test Your Knowledge

Lesson: Why Money? (Philadelphia Fed)

Resources Guide

These modules focus on topics related to the economy.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Image of GDP flow chartIn this edition, the Classroom Economist discusses gross domestic product (GDP): what it is, how to measure it, and what it means to a country's economy.

An Economist's Perspective

Lesson demonstration

Lesson (216 KB PDF) | Presentation (1.71 MB PDF)

PowerPoint Lesson

SMART Board Lesson on GDP (.notebook, 2.5 MB)

Lesson procedures (63 KB PDF)

Test Your Knowledge

The Fed Explains Real Versus Potential GDP

Resources Guide

Inflation

This inaugural issue of the Classroom Economist explains key concepts regarding inflation, including inflation targeting, the consumer price index, core inflation, and more.

video iconAn Economist's Perspective

video iconLesson demonstration

PowerPoint Lesson

Interactive Whiteboard (.notebook, 8 MB)

Test Your Knowledge

video iconThe Fed Explains Inflation

A Lesson to Accompany "Benjamin Franklin and the Birth of a Paper Money Economy" (Philadelphia Fed)

Resources Guide

Unemployment

Image of unemployment lineThe Classroom Economist takes a look at the labor market. It includes a discussion of how the labor market differs from a product market, what the different ways of looking at it are, and how to measure it.

Videos

An Economist's Perspective

Lesson demonstration

PowerPoint Lesson

SMART Board Lesson (.notebook, 2.5 MB)

Instructions (63 KB PDF)

Test Your Knowledge

Jobs Calculator

The Fed Explains the Unemployment Rate

Lesson: The Labor Force and Unemployment

Resources Guide

These modules focus on topics related to the Federal Reserve System.

History of Central Banking

Image of Federal Reserve sealThis edition of the Classroom Economist explores the early history of central banking in the United States, describing the evolution of banking from the late 1700s through the Great Depression, with a special focus on the Fed's role in the Depression.

An Economist's Perspective

Lesson demonstration

PowerPoint Lesson

SMART Board Lesson (.notebook, 17.8 MB)

Lesson procedures (63 KB PDF)

Test Your Knowledge

Lesson: The Great Depression: Could it Happen Again? (St. Louis Fed)

Resources Guide

Jekyll Island and the Creation of the Fed (added April 9, 2014)

Watch the accompanying video for this lesson using the YouTube player above.

In this lesson, students will learn about the early history of the Federal Reserve. They will learn about Jekyll Island’s past and about the Panic of 1907, the Aldrich-Vreeland Act, the origins and outcomes of the secret Jekyll Island meeting, and the passage of the Federal Reserve Act.

Monetary Policy

Photo of measurement scalesThis edition of the Classroom Economist offers a look at the role of the Federal Reserve System in setting monetary policy, and describes the tools of monetary policy and the role that the banking system plays.

An Economist's Perspective

Lesson demonstration

Interview with Nobel Laureate Christopher Sims

PowerPoint Lesson

SMART Board Lesson (.notebook, 2.5 MB)

Test Your Knowledge

Lesson: The Trial of Monty Terry

Resources Guide

The Structure and Functions of the Federal Reserve

Image of Federal Reserve sealWondering how to explain to your class the mixture of public and private elements that make up the Federal Reserve? This edition of the Classroom Economist offers unique tools to help you teach about the Federal Reserve System, including its evolution, components, responsibilities, and much more.

This quarter's edition departs somewhat from the usual format. Instead of offering videos of an Atlanta Fed senior economist and a master teacher, we present Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke himself, serving as both "classroom economist" and master teacher.

PowerPoint Lesson

SMART Board Lesson (.notebook, 10 MB)

Lesson procedures (204 KB PDF)

Test Your Knowledge

The Fed Explains the Central Bank

The Fed Explains Regional Banks

Resources Guide