Resources for Teaching Economics

Economics concepts and tools are required in K – 12 education. According to the Council of Economic Education’s latest Survey of the States or report card, 22 states now require students to take an Economics course in order to successfully graduate High School. Forty-nine states (49) plus the District of Columbia include Economics within their core curriculum content standards. (By the way, the only state that does not is Rhode Island.) Often this is a stand-alone Economics course in High School or an Advanced Placement (AP) course. In some school districts, economics is integrated into other business, personal finance, or social studies courses.

In 2009, the State of New Jersey amended the High School graduation requirement to include 2.5 credits of “financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy” for all those entering Grade 9 in 2010. Specifics are found in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.

Much of the economics content to be covered by New Jersey teachers is found in the social studies Standard 6, though there is some overlap with the newly enhanced Standard 9.

This section of SCEFL’s website contains links and suggestions for teachers in New Jersey and elsewhere. We try to include suggestions for all grades and school subjects:

  • Grade 9 – 12 teachers asked to cover economics may also be teaching social studies, business, family and consumer sciences, and career and technical education. Even better, a teacher may be asked to teach a stand-alone economics course.
  • Grades 6 – 8 teachers asked to cover economics may also be teaching social studies or mathematics.
  • Grades pre-K & K – 5 teachers are creatively introducing economics concepts through language arts/literacy, social studies, mathematics, and all subjects.

EconEdLink, from the (national) Council for Economic Education has a database of lesson plans searchable by topic and grade level.

The Federal Reserve Board of the U.S. has an extensive Classroom Resources website.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas offers lesson plans and activities for all grade levels.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Education Department offers lesson plans and links to additional resources in economics education for all grade levels.

The national Center for Economic Education has state affiliates across the U.S.  You can search for resources in your state.

Share My Lesson is a free database of lessons written by teachers to share with each other.  Both Economics and Social Studies are subjest categories.

Teaching Economics as if People Mattered, has high school lesson plans from United for a Fair Economy, a non-profit organization in Boston, Massachusetts.

Understanding Taxes, from the Internal Revenue Service.  This site has lesson plans and resources for studying the taxes in the United States.  It is also available in Spanish. 

What’s the Economy for, Anyway?, is an educational resource project of the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement in association with the Forum on Social Wealth, the Political Economy Research Institute, and the Center for Popular Economics. It contains quizzes, discussion questions, slide shows, etc.

Sesame Workshop provides literacy and numeracy lessons for young, pre-school children, including one on financial habits.