Business, Economics, English, Journalism
The jargon of business and economics communicates very specialized activities and concepts. Also, certain phrases have become part of our everyday experience; these include Habitat for Humanity requiring “sweat equity,” working a “9-to-5” job and seeking “bang for your buck.” In the Know includes many of the concepts and economics terms used in the articles reprinted in this month’s curriculum guide.
Locate Trade Partners
Business, Economics, Geography, Social Studies
In 2014, the United States was the second largest exporter in the world at $1.45 trillion. The top export destinations of products made in the U.S. in 2014 were Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and Germany. In 2015 the United Kingdom moved to fifth and Germany to sixth place. In 2016, the order of goods exported was: Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany and South Korea.
Ask students to locate each of the above countries on a map. Discuss how goods might be transported between and among these nations. In addition to being suppliers of raw material such as textiles, tobacco and minerals, what additional businesses are influenced by trade policies?
If teachers wish to expand this geography/map reading activity into an informational graphics-reading activity, ask students to explore the United States Census Bureau Foreign Trade Data and statistics (Top Trading Partners).
What’s Out and In?
Business, Economics, Personal Finance, Social Studies
Usually a new year’s feature, a list of the new year’s OUTs and INs has been modified to get students thinking about the fads, changes in style and tastes and influences on their spending. This activity could be used to introduce a personal finance lesson in saving and budgeting.
We suggest teachers use “The List: What’s OUT and IN?” to introduce students (consumers) to how their wants and needs impact the financial stability of the producers of goods and services. What must manufacturers do to sell products and entertainers to maintain fans?
For the third question, teachers might introduce the following: When Pantone [https://www.pantone.com] announces the color of the year, clothing companies and those that supply them with fabric, rugs and household goods appear in the green of 2017 quickly before the next year’s color is announced. Movies and musicians win awards; their concerts sell out and recordings hit new highs. Which athlete still sells a high volume of shoes after his career has ended? Which shirts, hoodies and shoes of younger athletes are selling?
With older students, teachers could use this chart as a springboard to discuss the impact of product contamination, official or grassroots boycotts and perception of company’s products. Does the “Made in …” label influence purchases? Does the brand/style/fit carry more import than the place of manufacture?