Introductory activity

Introduction

This lesson is designed as an introduction to economics exercise.  It is the lesson that I provide to my classes, on day one of the course.  Many of your students will be taking the course for the first time and will not necessarily have an understanding of what the subject actually involves. Perhaps some of your class will have only a little knowledge of the subject but may know that it involves money and perhaps they hope, how to get rich?

For others of you, many of your students may have already taken the class at IGCSE level.  They will have a much clearer idea of what the course involves.  This lesson is a good way to start off your IB class and provide your students with an idea of what to expect from the next two years.  This first lesson is fun with your classes particularly enjoying the opening video as well as the beginning exercise.  This lesson can also be used as a taster lesson for pre-IB students considering taking the course at IB level.

Lesson notes:

Lesson time: 45 minutes

Lesson objectives:
  1. To introduce the subject to your new IB class.
  2. Have students share their thoughts on what the subject involves and why they chose the subject at IB level?
  3. Introduce students to the concept of GDP per capita as a measure of national income.

Teacher notes:

1. Begin your lesson with the two opening questions.  Allow 15 minutes for this activity because you will want to give each student the chance to speak.

2. Show this 5 minute video to your classes, which may answer some of the students questions.

3a. Print out the handout, and distribute to your class.  This contains a range of low, middle and high income nations.  Have your class put a tick by each nation to indicate which category each falls into.  You may choose to provide assistance to your class with the following information - the list contains 4 wealthy nations, 5 middle income countries and 4 low income ones.  (25 minutes)

b. Either provide your classes with the answers by clicking on the eye symbol or have them research this themselves. 

4. Final reflection (5 minutes)

1. Beginning question

  • What is economics?
  • Why did you select this subject at IB level?

One typical response that I hear is that economics is the study of how to get rich to the study of money and the stock market.  Other responses might concern an allocation of resources or an understanding of how the economy works.  Encourage your classes to air their views.  This is a subject that encourages different perspectives - providing each is respectful of the opinions of others.

 2. Video activity

Watch the following youtube video and then answer the question which follows

Does this video support or contradict your initial preconceptions about the course?

3. Activity

1. Complete the following activity for the following countries: USA, Brazil, Pakistan, Germany, India, Greece, South Africa, Italy, Botswana, China, Argentina, Nigeria, Bangladesh.  The handout can be downloaded at What is economics

2. Tick the box that you believe each nation belongs in - a wealthy nation, a middle income country or a low income nation.

NationWealthy nation (GDP per capita > $ 15,000 per yearMiddle income nation (GDP per capita  $ 4,000 - $ 14,999 per year Low Income nation (GDP per capita < $ 4,000 per year
USA

$ 65,111 (2019)

X

X

Brazil

X

$ 8,796 (2019)

X

Pakistan

X

X

$ 1,388 (2019)

Germany

$ 46,563 (2019)

X

X

India

X

X

$ 2,171 (2019)

Greece

$ 19,947 (2019)

X

X

South Africa

X

$ 6,100 (2019)

X

Italy

$ 32,946 (2019)

X

X

Botswana

X

$ 7,896 (2019)

X

China

X

$ 10,098 (2019)

X

Argentina

X

$9,887 (2019)

X

Nigeria

X

X

$ 2,222 (2019)

Bangladesh

X

X

$ 1,905 (2019)

A full list of GDP (national income per capita) can be found at:

GDP of nations

4. Final reflection and discussion

How do your lists compare with the list generated after investigating via the website?

Are there any surprises on the list?  Are there countries that are wealthier than you expected?  What about nations that had a lower income than you thought?

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