Economics

LESSON PLANS

Economic and Social Justice: A Human Rights Perspective
Author: David Shiman, Source: Univ. of Minnesota Human Rights Center
Full curriculum that provides an introduction to economic and social rights, 9 learning activities, and resources. See especially Activity 2, Economic Justice, The Scramble for Wealth and Power, and Activity 5, Hunger USA.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, economics


The Economics of Risk
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Students identify and weigh risks and potential benefits that women consider when deciding to come to the US without legal documents.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject area: social studies, women’s studies


Food Force
Source: UN World Food Programme and KONAMI Digital Entertainment
Puts players in control of the world’s largest humanitarian aid agency. Combines multiplayer fun with the ability to provide real meals to hungry children around the globe.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: economics, social studies


Issues of Poverty

Source: Teaching Tolerance
Four-lesson unit that addresses poverty as systemic and rooted in politics, economics, and discrimination. Lessons include “What is Poverty?” “Poverty and Unemployment,” “Race and Poverty,” “The Cycle of Poverty.”
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, language arts


Speak Truth to Power: Lucas Benitez
Source: Speak Truth to Power Curriculum, RFK Center
Activities featuring Lucas Benitez’s work for the rights of migrant workers.
Grade Level: high school
Subject area: social studies, economics


Speak Truth to Power: Mohammed Yuus
Source: Speak Truth to Power Curriculum, RFK Center
Activities based on Mohammed Yuus’ establishment of the Grameen Bank to help women gain economic independence.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies, economics, women’s studies 


Poverty + Human Rights
Source: Amnesty International UK
Three lessons with accompanying videos introduce the issue, explore how different organizations approach ending poverty.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, economics


Property Rights: Is the Environment Different?
Source: Foundation for Teaching Economics
Examines the economics of environmental realities, policies and solutions.
Grade Level: high school – adult
Subject Area:  social studies, economics

 

BOOKS

Sweatshop Warriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take on the Global Factor
Summarizes the histories of Chinese, Mexican, and Korean immigration and examines the practices and policies that propel women, men, and children into dangerous and poorly paid jobs.

  • Author: Miriam Ching Louie
  • Source: South End Press, 2001
  • Grade Level: high school – adult
  • Subject Area: social studies, economics


Whose Fruits and Just Desserts?
Source: Voices Across Time: American History through Music
Examines the causes and consequences of labor unrest in the early 20th century, considering both the needs and wants of labor and the reactions of “capital.” Examines these opposing interests and needs and how they continue to play a key role in contemporary American society
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies, US History

 

FILMS

A Place at the Table
Director/Producer: Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobs, Source: Magnolia Pictures, 2012
Makes the case that hunger has serious economic, social and cultural implications for the nation.
Time: 84 minutes
Grade Level: high school – adult


Harlan County, USA
Director: Barbara Kopple, 1976
Academy Award-winning documentary of the struggle between striking unionized coal miners and their employer. Emphasizes the right of workers to organize lobor unions and the violence resistance they encounter.  See Teacher’s Guide.
Time: 103 minutes
Grade Level: high school – adult
Subject Area: social studies


On the Waterfront
Director: Elia Kazan, 1954
Academy Award-winning film starring Marlon Brandon and Karl Maldon about organized crime’s penetration of a longshoreman’s union in New York during the 1950s. Several men break the community’s code of silence to stand up to the gangsters and expose the murder of a friend. Provides an introduction to the right to form trade unions, the problems of corruption in unions, and the need for courageous individuals to stand up to corrupt union bosses. See Teacher’s Guide.
Time: 108 minutes
Grade Level: high school – adult
Subject Area: social studies


Uprooted: Refugees of the Global Econom
y
 (2001)
Source: National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Stories of three immigrants (from Bolivia, Haiti and the Philippines) to the US and how global institutions and multi-national corporations erode people’s capacity to survive in their home countries. Film Clips available.
Time: 28 minutes