Materials

  • CCB Mathematics pages 244 - 249

Standards

Objectives

  • Identify the parts of the business cycle

  • Describe the Great Depression

  • Explain Keynesian economics

Key Concept

  • Understanding the business cycle and government spending will help you understand your own finances.

Vocabulary

Tier 2 Contraction
Depression
Expansion
Peak
Recession
Trough
Tier 3 Business Cycle
Great Depression
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Evidence-Based Reading

  • Ask Questions: Tell students they can apply the basic question words who, what, where, when, why, and how to the headings in most texts. Model the process for them. (For example, the heading Gross Domestic Product can generate questions like What is the gross domestic product? and Who determines the gross domestic product?) Have students work in pairs to formulate questions for each of the lesson’s main headings and have one member of each pair share their questions with the class.

Research It

  • Understand History: Ask students for the unemployment rates they found for 1933, 1945, 1980, 2010, and today. Write their responses on the board. Tell them that figures from the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, show the following rates (rounded to the nearest percent): 1933: 25 percent, 1945: 2 percent; 1980: 7 percent; 2010: 10 percent. Discuss why the figures vary so widely. (Sample answers: In 1933, the United States was deep in the Great Depression, so unemployment was very high. At the end of World War II (1945), a postwar economic boom drove unemployment down. The 10 percent figure for 2010 shows the rate for the Great Recession.)

Writing Practice

  • When students complete the exercise, have them pair up and exchange papers. Have each partner critique the other student’s paragraph and offer suggestions for revision.

Before Lesson

Ask students how they or others they know would meet their financial obligations if they lost their jobs and were not immediately able to find a new job. (Sample answer: by applying for unemployment benefits, also called unemployment compensation) Explain that the Social Security Act of 1935 established a federal program to administer states’ unemployment compensation payments as well as payments to older Americans, among others.

Background

Ask the class for examples of economic problems that they have heard about or experienced firsthand. Write students’ suggestions on the board. Explain that major economic problems like unemployment, inflation, recession, and so on are all related: all are aspects of the business cycle.

Guided Practice

  • Gross Domestic Product
  • The Business Cycle
  • The Great Depression
  • Keynesian Economics and the New Deal

Core Skill

Integrate Content Presented in Different Ways: When students complete the exercise, draw the business cycle diagram without labels on the board. Draw a deeper trough than the one shown on page 245. Invite volunteers to label the diagram with the terms boom, bust, peak, trough, and recession. When volunteers have finished labeling the diagram, discuss why the dip in the diagram is a trough and is also a recession.

Infer: When students complete the exercise, invite volunteers to tell the class what they inferred from the sentences referred to in the activity. Ask the volunteers to explain both why they inferred what they did and how they made their inferences.

Extension

Understand Idioms: Help students whose first language is not English to understand the business cycle idiom of boom and bust by labeling the business cycle diagram from page 245 with equivalent terms for GDP, boom, and bust in their languages of origin. Post the translated diagrams on the board for classmates to identify.

Develop a Logical: Argument Although the Social Security Act of 1935 helped ease some of the severe hardships of the Great Depression, many Americans, including Alf Landon, the Republican candidate for president in 1936, opposed the bill’s passage. Tell half the class to research reasons that President Roosevelt wanted the Social Security Act passed and the other half to research reasons that some American business people and politicians like Landon opposed the measure. Tell each team to investigate their position on reputable websites (those including .gov, .edu, and .org). Instruct students to formulate logical arguments by assessing the data they find, drawing conclusions, and using credible evidence in support of their arguments. Then moderate a class debate on the issue.

Lesson Review