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Solutions to Real World Economic Problems in the Classroom

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Keywords: Economics, Math, Film making
Subject(s): Video, Social Skills, Technology, Geography, Podcasting, Writing, Reading, Information Skills, Photography, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Service Learning, Grammar, Journalism, Civics, Math, History
Grades 6 through 12
School: Islamic Foundation School, Villa Park, IL
Planned By: Sarah Said
Original Author: Sarah Said, Villa Park
Students will be in a partnership with the Dupage County Habitat for Humanity throughout the school year on this project that is a hybrid of Service Learning, Math, Social Sciences, English, Reading, and Economics education. This project will allow students to take the skills acquired in Mathematics, English, and Reading courses and use them in a progressive real-world setting. Students will have a voice in their community about what changes can be made to help citizens live more prosperous lives.

This project will be an interdisciplinary project across the content areas in the Middle and High school portion of our building.

1) In social sciences and economics, students will learn about what economic systems around the world look like. Students will communicate their understanding of the content in powerpoints that they present to the class. In Math classes, students will learn about data collection and analysis. In reading courses, students will understand why it is important to be "Financially Literate". In English courses, students will reflect on their own life experiences and their understandings of economics.

2) Students will take the information they obtained in the courses, and they will investigate the causes of the struggling American economy in their Social Studies and economics courses. They will communicate with officials in the banking industry and housing industry via skye technology from a smartboard. They will then create a timeline of the banking a housing industry in the last ten years.
3) Students will read the book Nickel and Dimed to understand how the average American is directly by the United States economy. Students will create podcasts summarizing each industry the author discusses in the book.
4) Students will then create solutions in a "classroom summit" . Students will take on the roles of different world leaders to discuss changes in the economy.
5) Students will then each take on an industry to present a project in groups in a school-wide economics fair. The projects can take place in the forms of digital media or visual art.
6) Students will go into the community and create a documentary on how the economic crisis is effect their community. They will interview county officials and representatives from Habitat for Humanity.
7) Students will work on a habitat for humanity site and include that in the documentary as well.
8) Students will present their documentary at a county housing breakfast.

Illinois Standards that will apply to this project:
Math Illinois State Goal 10: Collect, organize and analyze data using statistical methods; predict results; and interpret uncertainty using concepts of probability.
Social Studies Illinois State Goal 15: Understand economic systems, with an emphasis on the United States.
Social Learning Illinois State Goal 3:Demonstrate decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Students will not only gain skills in math, economics, reading, and writing, but they will learn skills that will last them a life time professionally.
Materials: Whiteboards, Mobile Labs, Video Cameras, Flip Video, Digital Cameras, Point and Shoot, Digital Voice Recorders, Video Tools, CDs and DVDs, Flash/USB Drives