This module for fourth- and fifth-grade students presents economic issues in American history. Lessons emphasize Illinois State Goal 15 from colonial times to the present day, with special attention to producers and consumers, labor issues, important figures in labor and industry, and the global economy. Teachers can chose one or more economics lessons to supplement teaching of other social studies topics.


Read the Module Teaching Guide here.

The New Deal
  This lesson describes the programs implemented by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his presidency to help the nation's economic recovery.  

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A Coal Mining Family
  This lesson tells a story about the dangerous working conditions in coal mines in the early 20th century.  

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Bound Labor
  This lesson focuses on two forms of bound labor -- indenture and slave -- that were used on farms and plantations in the colonial and early American period.  

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Losing the Farm
  This lesson tells the story of a migrant worker family bound for California in the 1930s.
 

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Moo and Oink
  This lesson tells the story of the rise of the meat packing industry in Chicago in the 19th century.  

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Swift Success
  Follow-up lesson to "Moo and Oink" focusing on Gustavus Swift, a pioneer in the meat packing industry in the 19th century.  

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The Plantation Economy
  A follow-up lesson to "Bound Labor," it describes the rise and fall of the plantation economy in the American South between 1730-1865.  

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Welcome to Slatersville
  This lesson tells the story of Samuel Slater and the start of the industrial revolution in America in the late 18th century.  

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Women in Industry
  This lesson describes how women entered the work force in huge numbers during World War II when many men were stationed overseas.  

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City of Big Shoulders
  This lesson is about Chicago in the mid-19th century and how it became the center of commerce.  

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