Our World Economics

Online videos and lesson plans introducing economics to teens and tweens.

A multidisciplinary group of economists, political consultants and educators developed Our World Economics to help teenagers tackle the questions of globalism: Where do our products and services in the United States come from? Why do 600 million children worldwide live in poverty? Can we promote economic development while being respectful of the environment?

Prepare your students for our international world...

Our World Economics explores three broad themes that complement social studies, geography, government and civics curricula:

Unit 1: World store: Observing our divided world
Beginning with a video that takes students grocery shopping in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, this unit familiarizes the class with some of the commercial relationships and economic distinctions between our planet’s wealthiest and poorest nations.
Learning objectives and overview of activities (PDF)
Unit 1 lesson plans and activities (PDF)

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Unit 2: What’s all the buzz about? Economics as allocation
This unit explores supply, demand and pricing, as well as colonialism and historic trends in the accumulation and distribution of wealth. The video introduces the unit with a case study of beekeeping.
Learning objectives and overview of activities (PDF)
Unit 2 lesson plans and activities (PDF)

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Unit 3: Rivers and ruins: What is valuable?
This unit ’s video explores a world heritage cultural site and a global priority nature preserve to introduce the concept of common goods – resources normally considered “free,” but also vulnerable. Culture… Language… Nature… How can free market mechanisms protect these examples of our global heritage?
Learning objectives and overview of activities (PDF)
Unit 3 lesson plans and activities (PDF)

Watch the video! 


Vocabulary List, Glossary, Internet Resources, Ground Rules for Discussing Controversial Issues, Final Exam and Answer Key, Fast Facts for Educators: Global Socioeconomic Indicators, Fast Facts for Educators: Bolivia, Sources
Appendices (PDF)

Economics, we believe, is an exploration of values. Even the formal definition of economics, “the allocation of scarce resources,” suggests that moral and ethical decisions are made every day when we decide what to purchase, what to consume, what to produce, and how to share the world’s resources among our planet’s almost seven billion inhabitants. Through Our World Economics, middle school and high school students can begin to develop the intellectual tools to become responsible and informed global citizens.