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Lesson 11: US Economy

Lesson 11: US Economy

Students compare the economies of the US, UK, and China, watch a documentary about the development of the US economy, and discuss household income and expenses in the US and China.

Level:  Intermediate

Topic:  US economy

Time:  90 minutes

Preparation

Objectives

  1. Discuss the economy of the US compared to the UK and China.
  2. Explain 5 interesting facts about the development of the US economy.
  3. Discuss the average US household income and expenses.
  4. Compare household income and expenses in the US and in China.

Assessment

  1. Observe and listen to opinions during class discussion.
  2. Students work in groups to discuss their 5 interesting facts and report to the class what they found.
  3. Students discuss in groups and to the class.
  4. Students discuss as a class.

Materials

  • DVD: America: The Story of Us (2010), Disc 3: Superpower episode
  • Make one copy of Economic Facts for every two students.
  • Make one copy of Household Expenses in America for each group.
  • Make one copy of Household Expenses in America KEY for the teacher.

Procedure

Warmer (15 minutes)

  • Ask students to get a partner, look at the Economic Facts handout, and discuss the topics on the handout for about 5 minutes.
  • Ask the students to volunteer answers and discuss as a class.

 

America: The Story of Us – Video (30 minutes)

  • Ask the students to watch the video and write down 5 interesting facts from the video.
  • Play Disc 3 – Superpower from the beginning until “a land of plenty becomes a land of technology.”
  • Ask students to get into groups of 3 or 4 people and discuss their 5 interesting facts.
  • Ask reporters to tell the class what they found.  Write important facts on the board.

 

Sample Facts:

  • After WWII, American income was 15 times greater than in Europe.  The US was #1 in terms of production capacity in the world.
  • Eisenhower built the interstate highway.  Only ½ of the roads were paved.  It took 62 days to drive across America.  Now it takes 4 days.
  • 1946: a baby was born every 10 seconds.
  • 1946: 80% of the world’s cars were made in the US.
  • In the 1950s, a house was built every 16 minutes.  13 million houses were built in one decade.
  • 1960s, people started to move south because of the invention of air conditioners.

 

Average Household Income and Expenses (35 minutes)

  • Ask students to get back into their groups.
  • Give each group a Household Expenses in America handout and ask students to put the expenses in order from most money to least money.
  • Elicit answers from the groups and write on the board.
  • Then, ask the students to decide the percentage of each expense.
  • Elicit answers from the groups and write on the board.
  • Ask students to compare the average household expenses in the US to China.  What are the similarities and differences?
  • Discuss as a class.

 

Q&A (10 minutes)

  • Ask the students to look at their homework questions and/or responses to ask additional questions about the unit.

 

Homework

  • Read unit 9 US Social Movements and write 3 questions and/or responses.

Printable Worksheets

$alt
Economic Facts
Download
$alt
Household Expenses in America
Download
$alt
Household Expenses in America KEY
Download

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