Economics Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Economic Standard
D.4.5

Role of Government

Distinguish between private goods and services (for example, the family car or a local restaurant) and public goods and services (for example, the interstate highway system or the United States Postal Service)

Economic Concepts
Goods  ||  Services  ||  Public goods

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Links to Content Information

blue check mark Examine the services financed through taxation - Explanation for teacher and student activity for grades K-3. 
blue check mark Excellence in Highway Design - This site shows the many categories of highways built by  the Federal Highway Administration.
blue check mark United States Postal Service
blue check mark Wisconsin State Budget Office -Provides fiscal and policy analysis to the governor for development of executive budget proposals and assists agencies in the technical preparation of budget requests. It reviews legislation and prepares or coordinates the fiscal estimates that accompany all expenditure bills. 
blue check mark Wisconsin State Controller's Office Annual Fiscal Reports - The most useful part of the most recent annual report is the table showing the Top Ten Programs, found in the Economic Section. The reports require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Links to Lesson Plans and other Suggested Teaching Strategies

blue arrow Econopolis - Teaches the following economics topics: History of Money and Trade, Free Enterprise, Goods and Services, Producer vs. Consumer, Opportunity Cost, Supply and Demand, and Problems in Econopolis.
blue arrow Hey, Mom! What's For Breakfast? - Grades 3-5. Students will distinguish between goods and services, identify economic wants, and distinguish between producers and consumers.
blue arrow If you Give a Mouse a Cookie - Grades 1-3. A little mouse shows up at a young man's house. The young man gives the mouse a cookie and starts a chain of events.  Learn about unlimited wants, and goods and services.
blue arrow Nothing to Buy - Grades 3-5. Goods in the Soviet Union were available as public goods. Now they are private goods. Students see the effects this change has had on the economy.

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List of Curricular Materials and Learning Activities

blue push pin Master Curriculum Guide in Economics: Teaching Strategies K-2, from Economics America (search catalogue), available from Economics Wisconsin. Part 1, Lessons 2-5:  Economic Wants and Consumers - Students learn the economic concepts: wants, goods, services, and consumer.
blue push pin Master Curriculum Guide in Economics: Teaching Strategies 3-4, from Economics America (search catalogue), available from Economics Wisconsin. Relevant lessons: 
  • Lesson 1:  Everybody Wants Everything - Grades 3-4. By examining their wants, students identify goods and services that can satisfy their wants. 
  • Lesson 10:  A Taxing Situation - By participating in a role playing activity, students learn which goods and services are provided by different levels of government, and which taxes are collected. 
blue push pin Work, Human Resources, and Choices - Primary level students discover what being a worker means by interviewing workers from the community. They learn about goods and services and the skills, knowledge, and capital resources workers need to do their work. Students begin to understand how to set a goal, make a plan to reach it, and follow through on the plan. From Economics America.
blue push pin Eco-Sense: It's Elementary from Business Economic Education Foundation, 123 North Third Street, Suite 504, Minneapolis, MN 55401; (612) 337-5252. Grades 2-6.  Relevant lessons: 
  • Unit 1, Section B: Productive Resources, Lessons 1-5.  Economic Concepts: Resources, goods, services, needs, wants.
  • Unit 1, Section A:  What am I? A Consumer or a Producer?  Lessons 3-5.   Economic Concepts: Consumer, producer, labor.
blue push pin Virtual Economics: An Interactive Center for Economic Education, Version 2 - Each exhibit includes teaching tips, background information, a list of lessons, and video and audio clips that give additional information about the topic.  Available from Economics America (search catalogue). 
  • In section MicroEconomics, see exhibit:  Roles of Government

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National Content Standards 16 and 17 and their benchmarks.

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Email an expert

    Professor Marck Schug, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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Developed by 
Lynn Kirby, Ph.D.
Larry Weiser, Ph.D.