Extra Credit (Spring 2009)

Special Topic

Atlanta Fed announces winners of Lesson Plan of the Year contest winners

image of teacher holding an appleWinners of the Atlanta Fed's 2008–09 Lesson Plan of the Year contest were announced and recognized at an awards ceremony at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in April.

The contest winners are Keith Astuto of South Miami Senior High School in Miami, Fla., first place; Sabrina McCartney of Carrollwood Day School in Tampa, Fla., second place; Greg Glandon of Morristown-Hamblen High School East in Morristown, Tenn., third place; and Cheryl Morrow of Spain Park High School in Hoover, Ala., and Marian Jackson of Port Barre High School in Port Barre, La., honorable mentions.

The annual contest challenges middle and high school educators to develop lesson plans featuring Federal Reserve publications, Web sites, or multimedia materials (see the related link). The competition is designed to introduce educators to Federal Reserve materials and encourage them to consider how these resources can be used to teach students about the Federal Reserve, economics, and personal finance.

Related Links
On the Web:

A panel of judges composed of educators and staff from other Federal Reserve Banks evaluate entries on numerous criteria, including use of Federal Reserve materials and relevance to national standards.

Regional winners
Each of the finalists at the Atlanta ceremony represents the winning entry from a geographic area served by one of the Atlanta Fed's six offices—Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville, and New Orleans. The regional winners each received a $1,000 savings bond and then competed for the top prize. At the Atlanta ceremony, the overall first-place winner received a $1,500 savings bond; the second-place winner, a $1,000 savings bond; the third-place winner, a $750 savings bond; and each honorable mention winner, a $250 savings bond.

Photo of Lesson Plan of the Year winners
Left to right: Marian Jackson, Sabrina McCartney, Keith Astuto, Cheryl Morrow, and Greg Glandon

Winning lesson plans
In Astuto's first-place entry, "An Economic SIM-ulus Package," high school students research economic conditions in the Sixth Federal Reserve District to brief the Atlanta Fed President as he prepares to attend a Federal Open Market Committee meeting. This lesson makes use of several Federal Reserve System resources, including the In Plain English video, A Day in the Life of the FOMC, and the GeoFRED Web application.

McCartney's second-place-winning lesson, "Scribing Our Times," uses The Fed Today DVD as a tool to instruct middle school students on current events. After discussing and writing about current events in a group setting, each student writes a time capsule letter that explains current economic conditions to students in the future.

Glandon's third-place-winning plan, "Saving Power = Spending Power," introduces students to different types of savings accounts. Students learn how to increase their future spending power through interest-bearing accounts using the Building Wealth curriculum and the graphic novel A Penny Saved.

In "Passport to Globalization," which won an honorable mention, Morrow teaches high school students about U.S. monetary policy's impact on international trade. Students read The Story of Foreign Trade and Exchange and The Story of Monetary Policy and then engage in activities that culminate in students identifying appropriate monetary policy responses to various types of economic conditions.

Jackson's lesson, "Show Me the Euro," which also won an honorable mention, teaches students in high school French classes about international trade and currency exchange rates using The Story of Foreign Trade and Exchange. Students reinforce their learning of related concepts and vocabulary by participating in a skit about a trade agreement.

The winning lesson plans will be posted on this Web site at a later date.

By Lon Lazzeri, economic and financial education representative, Miami Branch