Teaching Guide

Teachers should also read the Show Me the Money: Economics in American History module Teaching Guide for further information.

Also refer to the Standards Chart for this lesson.



The aim is to acquaint students with important people, events and terms relating to the subject of economics.

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Chicago students are expected to understand, analyze, and compare economic systems, with an emphasis on the United States.

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The intended audience is primarily Chicago Public School students in the fourth and fifth grades, but the tours and lessons may be adaptable for other grades as well.

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•Reading at a 4th grade level
•Use of Internet browsers
•Use of mouse

It is suggested that students go through the tours in the order given on the Show Me the Money home page, so that they follow chronological order.

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Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Science will be addressed in this tour.

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•Internet-linked computer with browser (version 5.0 recommended) for each student or group of students; or a projector with a large group of students.
•Macromedia Flash version 5 (will download and install automatically).
•Paper-based journal (optional).

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Instructional Plan

Before taking students through the tour, it is recommended that teachers go through it once to find any concepts or vocabulary that may need to be covered before the students begin. Teachers may want to create their own vocabulary/spelling list for the week using the terms found in this lesson. Several words are already linked to our glossary, but there may be others that are less subject-specific that require pre-teaching. It is suggested that students work through the tour independently or in pairs. While reading, students should take notes in their journals. They should write down anything of interest, unfamiliar terms that were not already introduced, and answers to the questions.

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Learning Objectives

•Students will identify cause and effect of various economic conditions.
•Students will demonstrate note taking skills in their journals.
•Students will participate in partner and/or small group discussions as indicated throughout the tour as well as share their ideas about given topics with the whole class.

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Assessment and Evaluation

Journal entries: Students should show evidence of note taking and critical thinking.

Students will participate in partner and/or small group discussions and whole class discussions.

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Activities - Answers

Use the information about mining to answer the questions below:

1. Billy's Dad and his partner are undermining a seam of coal that is 16 feet wide, 4 feet deep, and 10 feet high.

A. Draw a scale model of the seam. Let 1 inch on the model equal 2 feet of the seam.

Model should be 8 x 5 x 2
(State Goal 7, CAS A-7, Read and interpret scale drawings.)

B. How many cubic feet of coal would fall to the ground after they blasted this seam?

volume = 16 x 10 x 4
volume = 640 cubic feet
(State Goal 7, CAS A, Use appropriate units and formulas to measure ... capacity.)

C. It took the 2 miners 3 hours to undermine this seam of coal. How many times did Billy's Dad swing his pick before the job was done? Explain how you got your answer.

45 x 60 x 3 = 8100 times
If they take turns: 8100 divided by 2 = 4050 times for Billy's Dad
(State Goal 6, CAS C, Use operations; State Goal 6, CAS D-1, Explain solutions to problems and support the solution with evidence.)

D. About how many times will Billy's Dad swing his pick in a week if he undermines a seam like this every day?

approximately 4000 x 6 = 24,000 swings in a week
(State Goal 6, CAS C, Use operations.)

E. Billy is a laborer. He and his partner work with Billy's Dad. How many pounds of coal will Billy shovel in a week?

2 miners/boys = 4 tons/day or 2 tons each/day
2 tons x 6 days = 12 tons or 24,000 pounds/week
(State Goal 6, CAS C, Use operations.)

Additional Information

Currently there is no additional information for this tour.

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