Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Boardroom Video Discussion and Activity

Atlanta Federal Reserve building boardroom

How do the Fed's interest rate changes affect our daily lives? And where does the Fed get the information that informs its interest rate decisions? The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's new boardroom video answers these questions, with active-learning exercises accompanying the video.

Lesson components

Lesson Description

This discussion and activity guide serves to reinforce concepts explained in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Boardroom video. In addition to a general discussion guide highlighting the main points of the video, two activities give students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in an active learning setting. In the first activity, students will learn how interest rates affect an individual's decisions during the loan process. Students will receive cards with either a house, car, principal term, interest rate, monthly payment, or total payment. They will look for a "match" and form groups to tell a story about how the monetary policy tool of interest rates affects a loan's affordability. After groups have found their "matches," they will tell their interest rate story, and then they will work together with the other group that has the same loan option (house or car) and act out how rising or falling interest rates affect loans, spending, and economic growth. In the second activity, students will complete a flow chart that details the monetary policymaking process described in the video. They will then create a foldable three-tab booklet to illustrate how the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta prepares to make his decision regarding the District's recommendation for the direction of interest rates.

Standards and Benchmark

Grade Level

9–12

Concepts

  • Borrowers
  • Economic Growth
  • Federal Open Market Committee
  • Interest Rates
  • Loans
  • Monetary Policy
  • Savers
  • Spending

Objectives

Students will be able to

  • describe the effect of changes in the level of interest rates on simple house and car loans
  • demonstrate how rising or falling interest rates affect the greater economy in terms of spending, prices, and inflationary pressures and economic growth, as well as how interest rates affect savers and borrowers and
  • explain the process that the Atlanta Fed president uses to determine his recommendation for the direction of interest rates, including the groups consulted and the information gathered.

Time Required

45 minutes