Top 3 Economics Lessons for High School
As a business education curriculum developer, we speak with thousands of high school business teachers every year.
In these conversations, teachers often ask if we have economics lessons and activities for high school classes.
While we provide a digital curriculum to teach economics among other fundamental business topics, our solution may not be the best fit for everyone.
Business&ITCenter21 is a full-fledged curriculum system designed to teach dozens of skills such as professionalism, business communication, entrepreneurship, job seeking skills, and more.
But some teachers are only interested in supplemental resources to add to their existing business education curriculum.
To help you choose the right resources for your classes, we put together a list of three popular economics lessons for high school:
- Economics Lessons from the Foundation for Teaching Economics
- High School Economics Lessons from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
- Lesson Plans from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
On this page, we’ll take a look at five excellent classroom resources that you can use to introduce economics to your students.
1. Economics Lessons from the Foundation for Teaching Economics
The Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) is an American non-profit organization dedicated to informing students about the intricacies of the world economy.
That makes them an ideal resource for teachers throughout the United States. In fact, they offer seminars, programs, and training opportunities for educators who want to start teaching economics.
As part of this, they offer a whole suite of high school lesson plans about economics.
We recommend beginning with Right Start in Teaching Economics.
This is a package of 14 lessons that covers everything students need to form the foundation of their economic knowledge.
From tried-and-true concepts like scarcity to moral dilemmas like tragedy of the commons, the FTE covers an enormous amount of information in these lessons.
Along the way, students will learn how to think economically, how to identify markets, what “inflation” really means, and even a little bit of personal finance.
You can use these lessons verbatim in your classroom, if you teach through lecture.
If you want to use interactive strategies, you can also:
- Use each lesson’s key terms as flash cards
- Roleplay scenarios involving consumers, banks, and the federal reserve
- Have students create a fiscal or banking policy for the class
These are all excellent lessons and methods to use to build a foundational understanding of economics with your high school students.
2. High School Economics Lessons from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (FRBA) is highly invested in the education of high school students in the United States.
They provide six lesson plans that pertain to “Basic Economic Concepts” that you can use in varying grade levels to teach economics.
These lesson plans follow the trend that many teachers see in economic education today — namely, the blending of economics and career readiness.
That’s the crux of the lesson plan entitled Dream Today, Job Tomorrow.
But the FRBA also uses lesson plans to explore concepts about economics in popular non-fiction. It even goes so far as to have students read blogs that deal with economics online!
Beyond the basic concepts, the FRBA has more than a dozen lesson plans dealing with topics such as:
- International economics
- Personal finance
Their library of personal finance lesson plans is especially robust, and it gives you a lot of ways to tie major economic concepts into students’ personal lives.
Altogether, you have a ton of teaching strategies at your disposal for all of these lessons, including:
These are just four of your options, but the sky is the limit with what the FRBA provides!
3. Lesson Plans from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Much like the Atlanta branch, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (FRBP) has a database of free lesson plans that are perfect for high school students.
The FRBP organizes all of its lessons by grade level, so you can rest assured that each of these lesson plans is at the proper learning level of your students.
In total there are 10 high school lessons that cover topics concerning paper money, centralized banking, the characteristics of money, and personal budgeting.
Again, the FRBP makes it possible for you to take high-level economic concepts and apply them to students’ personal lives — right down to their wallets!
Altogether, the FRBP has some great ideas and opportunities for you to pursue.
You can teach each of these lesson plans in a variety of methods, including:
- Group work
With that, the FRBP has you covered from just about every angle when it comes to teaching the lessons they provide.
Which Economics Lessons and Activities Are Right for You?
At the end of the day, there is no single “best” place to find high school economics lesson plans. It all depends on the needs of you, your course, and your students!
Each of these resources can act as an excellent supplement to your existing curriculum.
But if you’re looking for a more well-rounded curriculum solution, consider checking out the Business&ITCenter21 digital curriculum from AES.
Business&ITCenter21 is used by thousands of business educators teach dozens of concepts and skills needed to succeed in today's workforce.
Overall, it helps you save time with planning, assessing, and grading student work all while maximizing student understanding and information retention.
To see what AES has to offer, check out our Economics curriculum module!