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Lesson Plan by Maggie M. Larche M.A.

Economic Systems

Pixton Lesson Plan on Economic Systems

Make economic concepts come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Timeline
  • Poster

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on Economic Systems
Pixton Lesson Plan on Economic Systems
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings economic concepts to life with comics and storyboards.

Featured Props

Economic Systems

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Arrow
    Arrow
  • Barn
    Barn
  • Building
    Building
  • Cart
    Cart
  • Circle
    Circle
  • Cog
    Cog
  • Factory
    Factory
  • Money
    Money
  • Planet
    Planet
  • Scale
    Scale
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Teacher Guide

Economic Systems

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

For the opening discussion, pick a command economy, either Cuba, China, North Korea, or Russia, whichever you feel your students will be most familiar with. For this example, I will use Cuba, but you can alter the example to fit your chosen country.

You may wish to take a moment to show the students pictures from your chosen country. Give them a glimpse of what the foreign cars and supermarkets look like.

On the board, write "the United States" and "Cuba." Ask your students to list differences they can think of between the two countries' economies. Examples may include the following:

  • Consumers have more choice in the U.S. vs Cuba.
  • Cars in Cuba are older.
  • Cuba has state-run health care, so there are no private hospitals. Etc.

Opening Discussion

Introduce the following vocabulary to your students:

  • Market Economy - A system where the transactions in an economy are the result of choices made by private individuals.
  • Command Economy - A system where the government of a country makes the economic decisions for its citizens.

Ask students which sort of economy they think they live in. You may get both market and command as answers, since every modern economy has aspects of both. Point out from your opening example that the United States is largely a market economy, while Cuba is a command economy.

Tell students that they will explore more about the two main systems through the activities.

Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Mind Map, Storyboard, or ...
    Market Economy

    View Activity
  • Make a Mind Map, Storyboard, or ...
    Command Economy

    You may wish to brainstorm ideas with students before they begin their comics.

    View Activity
  • Make a Poster
    Economic Freedom and Prosperity

    During this lesson, encourage students to research their countries so that they can be specific on their advertisements.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    State-Run Healthcare (Extension / Modification)

    Tell students that even many market economies have state-run healthcare systems, which is a hallmark of a command economy. England and Canada are two examples of this. Brainstorm the benefits and costs of a state-run system, and then have students create a storyboard that illustrates them.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Remind students that no economy strictly fits as either market or command. All modern nations have aspects of both and exist along a continuum.

People disagree politically as to which is the better system, but, from an economic standpoint, the market economy best provides for the needs and prosperity of its citizens.

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Pixton Activity: Economic Systems 1 Market Economy

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Timeline

Intro

Chances are, you are used to living in a market economy. You decide for yourself where you are going to live, what to buy for dinner, and whether or not to attend college.

In a market economy, most of the economic decisions are made by individuals. Businesses operate without the government dictating what they will produce. Consumers purchase things for themselves without waiting for the government to assign them goods. In short, you have a market of buyers and sellers, and, therefore, a market economy.

Market economies are characterized by a great amount of economic freedom. Private citizens are able to make the best choices for themselves without unnecessary government intervention.

Instructions

Create a comic that shows at least five of the economic decisions you and your family make for yourselves. What decisions in your life are the result of economic freedom? In the description for each panel, explain why you think this type of interaction fits in a market economy.

Rubric: Market Economy

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Understanding of Concepts • explains with extensive detail
• numerous connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions are comprehensive
• explains with detail
• considerable connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have purpose
• explains with sufficient detail
• several connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have basic purpose
• explains with limited detail
• limited connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have little purpose
• explains with no detail
• very few connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have no purpose
Inquiry/Research Skills • Extensive use of details; support from a wide variety of sources
• Facts are accurate and complete
• Sources are accurately listed
• Considerable use of details; support from several sources
• Facts are accurate
• Sources are accurately listed
• Includes several relevant details; basic use of sources
• Facts are consistent
• Sources listed
• Some relevant details included; sources are limited
• Facts contain some inaccuracies
• No sources listed
• Very few relevant use of details
• Facts are inaccurate or false
• No sources listed
Communication • excellent communication of ideas
• statements are dynamic with extensive development
• descriptions are purposeful and well organized
• effective communication of ideas
• statements are powerful with appropriate development
• descriptions are concise and organized
• sufficient communication of ideas
• statements are consistent with increasing development
• descriptions are basic and organized
• poor communication of ideas
• statements are general with some development
• descriptions are limited and unorganized
• inadequate communication of ideas
• statement are general with little development
• descriptions are incomplete and unorganized
Style • correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation; may include some errors in complex structures
• panels are highly organized with exceptional use of supporting details
• few errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors do not interfere with meaning
• panels have excellent organization with effective use of supporting details
• occasional errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors rarely interfere with meaning
• panels have basic organization and supporting details
• several errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors may make parts hard to follow
• panels have limited organization and supporting details
• repeated errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar often make the writing hard to understand
• panels are unorganized and lack supporting details
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Economic Systems 2 Command Economy

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Timeline

Intro

You've probably heard about different kinds of command economies before. Terms like communist, socialist, and fascist all describe types of economies where government officials make most of the decisions. Command economies have very little economic freedom, and individual citizens are rarely able to make their own choices. Countries like Russia, Cuba, China, and North Korea are all example of command economies.

But even outside of these extreme examples, most economies have some command aspects to them. Where you live, there are many decisions that are taken out of the hands of private citizens and instead given to the government.

Instructions

Create a comic that shows at least three examples of decisions that your government makes for its citizens. In the description for each panel, explain why these are hallmarks of a command economy.

Rubric: Command Economy

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Understanding of Concepts • explains with extensive detail
• numerous connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions are comprehensive
• explains with detail
• considerable connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have purpose
• explains with sufficient detail
• several connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have basic purpose
• explains with limited detail
• limited connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have little purpose
• explains with no detail
• very few connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have no purpose
Inquiry/Research Skills • Extensive use of details; support from a wide variety of sources
• Facts are accurate and complete
• Sources are accurately listed
• Considerable use of details; support from several sources
• Facts are accurate
• Sources are accurately listed
• Includes several relevant details; basic use of sources
• Facts are consistent
• Sources listed
• Some relevant details included; sources are limited
• Facts contain some inaccuracies
• No sources listed
• Very few relevant use of details
• Facts are inaccurate or false
• No sources listed
Communication • excellent communication of ideas
• statements are dynamic with extensive development
• descriptions are purposeful and well organized
• effective communication of ideas
• statements are powerful with appropriate development
• descriptions are concise and organized
• sufficient communication of ideas
• statements are consistent with increasing development
• descriptions are basic and organized
• poor communication of ideas
• statements are general with some development
• descriptions are limited and unorganized
• inadequate communication of ideas
• statement are general with little development
• descriptions are incomplete and unorganized
Style • correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation; may include some errors in complex structures
• panels are highly organized with exceptional use of supporting details
• few errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors do not interfere with meaning
• panels have excellent organization with effective use of supporting details
• occasional errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors rarely interfere with meaning
• panels have basic organization and supporting details
• several errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors may make parts hard to follow
• panels have limited organization and supporting details
• repeated errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar often make the writing hard to understand
• panels are unorganized and lack supporting details
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Economic Systems 3 Economic Freedom and Prosperity

Featured Layouts

  • Poster

Intro

Which system do you think best provides for the needs of a country's citizens? Market or command?

To answer this question, organizations have studied the economic freedom of all the countries on earth. Unsurprisingly, there's a pretty big spread in terms of how free people are. Hong Kong and Singapore are consistently ranked as the two freest countries. In 2015, the rest of the top ten included New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Jordan, Ireland, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Chile. The United States was ranked 16th. These countries are all mostly market economies, characterized by high levels of freedom and individual choice.

In 2015, the least economically free countries of the world included many African and South American countries. Venezuela, with its command economy, was the least free of all the countries.

By studying which countries are free and which are not, researchers are able to answer some interesting questions about how citizens fare under both market and command economies. In general, they found that people who live in market economies are better off in many ways. Their life expectancy is longer, they have higher standards of living, and they also have more political and civil liberties than those in less-free countries.

Instructions

Create an advertisement that encourages people to move to a certain country. What aspects of that nation's economy would you want to highlight? What are the benefits of moving to that country, and how does it relate to the country's economy?

Example Poster

Move to Hong Kong! by Student

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