1. Syllabus and course overview. 
  2. TASK- With a partner students work to answer the following: What is the fundamental problem in economics that all other concepts are based on?  
  3. HWK - Get binders/notebooks, supplies, etc. set up for Friday.


  1. Lecture: Scarcity and Choice
  2. Video: Episode 2: Scarcity and Choice
  3. Reading: Freakonomics "Bagel Story"with questions
  4. HWK - If you haven't finished Bagel Story - then finish and turn in on Tuesday. Also - know lecture 1 - scarcity and choice 

1/16/17 - No School - MLK Day


  1. Turn in "Bagel Story" from Freakonomics
  2. Warm Up: What is Scarcity and why does it matter? 
  3. Lecture 2 - Opportunity Costs/Trade-offs
  4. ReadThe Price of Lost Chances NY Times piece on cost of 9/11 reaction

*** For further reading: real world examples that mimic the "bagel story"

Block 1/18/17 - 1/19/17

  1. Lecture #3 - Factors of Production
  2. After watching the video, complete the worksheet on Factors of Production using your lecture notes.
  3. Activity - Read Should We be having Kids in the Age of Climate Change? 
  4. Four Corners Debrief - debate the philosophical dilemma of population control as a solution to climate change. What are suitable alternatives? Ex: Taxes, rebates/stipends, etc.  


  1. Quiz on Lecture 1 and 2 (Basics of Scarcity, Choice and Opp. Cost)
  2. Four Corners Debrief - Class discussion on reading from block day. 
  3. If time we will watch parts of the presidential inauguration
  4. HWK: None 


  1. Lecture#4: Production Possibilities Graph/Frontier (PPF)
  2. Practice: PPF Compare and Contrast (Due In-class)


Focus question for the week: How as a country should we best address the issue of poverty?

  1. Lecture #5 - Economic Systems

   2. Milton Freedman and the power of the market economy through a pencil

Block 1/25/17 - 1/26/17

1.  Students watch film on Norway and answer the questions on the handout

2.   When finished, begin the packet on Capitalism, Command (socialism) and Traditional economic systems. Due Friday  

3. Research for Friday discussion/debate: Are professional sports leagues socialistic? Affirm or Refute. Be able to explain by citing specific examples. 


1. Discuss/debate the question: Are professional sports leagues designed to be socialistic? 

2. Current Event - The Value of Franchise Quarterbacks

How do football teams determine the value of professional quarterbacks? 

1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2016/12/22/ranking-tony-romo-jay-cutler-and-the-best-nfl-quarterbacks-likely-available-this-offseason/?utm_term=.2dcb0266ff52

2. http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-the-nfl-has-a-quarterback-crisis-1441819454

3. https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/patriots/2016/04/20/draft-trades-illustrate-scarcity-talent-quarterback/CUYMYhSayn9NPpCudhcbbP/story.html



1. ReadingWhy Raising Minimum Wage Kills Jobs! 

2. In-class: Read the Forbes article titled Why Raising Minimum Wage Kills Jobs. Take notes and identify the author's key arguments/points. Next watch the video above and do your own research to refute the author's claims.  

3. Discuss: As a class we will talk about the following: Raising the minimum wage is an appropriate way to help those living in poverty. Affirm/Negate 

4. HWK: After discussion, write your responses either affirming or negating the debate prompt. 1/2 page minimum.  Title the document Why Raising Minimum Wage (does or doesn't) Kill Jobs. 



1. Video: TED Talks - The Freakonomics of Crack Dealing by Steven Levitt

2. In-class discuss the known arguments for and against the effectiveness of drug laws, private vs. public funding for rehabilitation, discriminatory incarceration practices and claims of government overreach. 

3. Additional information can be found: here 

2/1/17 - 2/2/17

1. Warm Up: The Scars of Stop-and-Frisk from NY Times

2. Readings from Michelle Alexander The New Jim Crow and Prison and the Poverty Trap from NY Times. 

3. In small groups (~5) read the articles and decide on five key problems facing the prison system from a cost standpoint. Remember cost is felt both in dollars and cents AND also in emotional ways. They can be both short and long term. What are some possible solutions? Use the easel paper and pen to note your group responses and be ready to present at end of class period on Friday. 

Some Extra Resources to Consider: 

  1. Adults in Jail or Prison
  2. Mandatory Minimums Come with a Cost 
  3. "Stop and Frisk Saves Lives" - Mayor Bloomberg
  4. Women in Prison:How it is with US by Assata Shakur
  5. NAACP Fact Sheet on Prison Population
  6. American Progress: Shocking Facts on Prison Population
  7. The Sentencing Project
  8. The Caging of America (New Yorker)
  9. Slavery and Prison by Kim Gilmore
  10. ACLU - Drug War is New Jim Crow
  11. Mental Illness and Incarceration 


  1. Lecture #6 - Externalities
  2. How to Catch a Thief Reading

2/7/17 - 2/10/17

  • Project Assigned: Making a Public Good (due on Tuesday 2/14/17)


  1. Time in class to finish projects before presentations. 


  • Public Good Presentations  - 3-5 minutes each. Groups will present 'Shark Tank' style where you are seeking to convince me and/or your classmates that your proposal is worth investing in. Don't just stand up and read us your project - 'sell us' on why your project is worthy of investing in. 


  1. Lecture on Demand 
  2. Practicing our understanding of demand
  3. Worksheets: Change in Demand AND Price Elasticity of Demand


  • Finish and Turn In: Change in Demand AND Price Elasticity of Demand. 
  • Current Event Discussion: Should Publicly Traded Companies Show Political Bias/Opinions on Social Issues? 
    • Link to various Superbowl ads that were deemed 'political
    • In-class we will discuss whether companies, especially those that are publicly traded, should take/show political bias or views.
    • With Chromebooks, students will then typed and share a 1/2 page response. (Due on Wednesday 2/22)
    • Title assignment "Politics and Corporate Branding"   email to bwellington@seq.org
  • HWK: None! Have a great 4 day weekend. 


2/22/17 - 2/24/17 (Short week because of holiday weekend)

Prompt: It is automation, more than global trade/globalization, that led to the loss of middle class jobs.  

Direction: With a partner, research automation and what impacts it has had on the American working class. Is it the primary reason for the loss of middle class jobs? Or is it something else? Explain using CITED and ACADEMIC sources.

  • Use MLA format: 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, Double Spaced with in-text citations.
  • Length should be 1-2 pages. No more, no less. 
  • The assignment needs to be printed and turned in by end of class Thursday/Friday. 

We will start by looking at a review of former President Barack Obama's farewell address 


  1. Lecture on Supply and the pursuit of Equilibrium
  2. End to Unit 1: Basics of Economics
  3. Quiz: Tuesday on Supply, Demand and Equilibrium


  1. Quiz: Supply, Demand and Equilibrium
  2. Start Personal Finance Unit
  3. Video: on Instant Gratification

3/1/17 - 3/2/17

  1. Lecture on Types of Savings Accounts
  2. The Marshmallow Experiment/Delayed Gratification (reading)



  • Lecture on Credit Cards
  • Video: Crisis of Credit 

3/7/17 - Min. Day

Block Day

  1. Credit Card Interest Activity

Link to Credit Interest Calculator:  http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/managing-debt/minimum-payment-calculator.aspx

2. Lecture on How to Develop a Budget (Review on your own)

Smart money budgets from bwellington

3. Activity: Students develop their own predicted cost and payment structure for after high school   Link: Bankrate College Calculator

  • Using the Bankrate calculator, pick a college of your choosing and look up the expected costs for each category. 
  • (Optional) read the US News article that provides a 'parent/child' comparison of expected and actual expenses. 

When finished with your budget, print out or Google Share a copy as proof of your work. Pay special attention to cash flow in and out and see if it will be possible for you to "tithe" yourself 10% first, before your expenses. 


Focus on gentrification - Answer the following on a separate sheet of paper. 

(Research for Monday)  Four Corners debate on the following questions

  • Do cities (city gov't) have a moral obligation to provide affordable housing? 
  • Is gov't (public) action the appropriate way to address a lack of affordable housing? 
  • Rent control unfairly lowers market value of property for property owners and it should be taken away. Agree/disagree  **(Be sure you know the definition of rent control!) 


Video: VICE Takes a Tour of SF

3/13/17 - Four Corners Debate on the above prompts. **(No writing assigned as classes did a good job discussing content!)** 

3/14/17 - (if necessary Block) Budgeting for the real world

Students in pairs will research and budget for any of the three careers below. 

Develop a chart that is three columns wide (one for each job) and nine rows high. Each row is per month and the final row is the total =/- of your estimated expenses. 

  • Row 1: Per Month Salary,  Row 2: Savings of 18-20%, Row 3: Rent, Row 4: Food, Row 5: Utilities, Row 6: Student Loan/Credit Debt, Row 7: Misc expenses, Row 8: Emergency fund (so you don't use a credit card) Row 9: Total 
  • Jobs that you can research: Software engineer, teacher, lawyer, physician, surgeon, cashier, waiter/waitress, retail sales, customer service representative, registered nurse, dental hygienist, web developer, marketing associate, UX designer, data analyst, or another career that you name!   

Use one of the following to look up salaries: 

  1. Payscale
  2. Indeed
  3. Glassdoor

Use rent.com, trulia.com, zillow.com, hotpads.com or apartments.com to determine your rent and per month utilities. 

Other info to consider: 

  • Rent should be no more than ~40% of your income. So look for something that is affordable!
  • Be sure your job salary estimate is ENTRY level - you won't be paid the same as a 10+ year employee right out of college...
  • Also check that your salary is for the region you plan to live. Example: Software engineers in SF and NY make 25k more than software engineers in states like Utah, Ohio, Texas, and N. Carolina - however, that salary difference is attributed to cost of living.
  • The goal of your emergency fund is to build it up to 6 months salary. After that, you can use that money monthly allotment for something else. But prioritize building it up as fast as you can!

***Fun little side note: This budgeting activity is without considering income taxes :) Depending on your state - income taxes from Fed and State governments would likely take ~25-40% of your income. That is why SAVING 20% pre-tax is smart as it lowers your taxable income and still allows you to properly save.*** 

3/15/17 - 3/16/17

  • Finish budget activity (if necessary)
  • Watch I.O.U.S.A. and I.O.U.S.A. Solutions and answer the film questions. 


  • Finish I.O.U.S.A. and turn in movie questions
  • Lecture: History of the National Bank 
  • Current Event: "Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill" by MIT Technology Review
    • Read and consider the layers of ethical AND economic problems. Namely, who would buy a car that will sacrifice the occupant over others? And, if occupant is prioritized over others, who bears the financial liability? 


  1. Lect: What is GDP and what does it measure?
  2. Video: Slate and NPR present What is GDP? 
  3. Reading: How is GDP like GPA? 

3/21/17 - 4/3/17

Focus on US Wealth Disparity: Can you solve the riddle of 'what creates upward mobility?'

Project: US Poverty Project Handout (Project Due 3/31/17)

Monday 3/27/17

  1. Why Procrastinators, Procrastinate (TED Talks) (15 mins)
  2. Handout: 100 blocks and how you use your time (~10 mins)
  3. Reflection: Considering your time each day is scarce  - apply economic thinking to how you spend your time. Example: Are you spending time laying the groundwork for future success and happiness? How much time is spent with family, friends? How much time on your phone, or alone?

Tuesday 3/28/17

  • Work on project - last day to check in with teacher

Block 3/29-3/30 - Economics Day Off! - In class, fun day to well deserving seniors

Friday 3/31 - No School - Cesar Chavez Day

Monday 4/3/17 - Projects Due

  • Presentations from 4/3/17 to 4/4/17

Monday - 4/17/17

Topic: Global Finance and the IMF/World Bank

Tuesday - 4/18/17

Block - 4/19/17 - 4/20/17

  1. WebsitesGlobal Rich List and If it Were My Home and 100 People
  2. Readings11 Charts that show the world is getting better. //  One-third of the world still doesn't have a toilet // US State GDP vs. other countries // Bill Gates on GDP // The Economist: Anti-Globalists - Why They are Wrong About Globalization
  3. Infographics:

 Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. Does global wealth inequality matter? If so, why?
  2. How is globalization part of the problem?
  3. How is it part of the solution?
  4. What are some potential problems with wealth concentration and to what extent does the increase in inequality reflect a barrier to solutions?

Friday 4/21/17 (Min. Day)

  • Lecture: Globalization and Cultural Imperialism (McDomination)

Monday - 4/24/17

  1. Lect: What is a Business? (Fixed and Variable Costs)
  2. Video: Wal-Mart and the Economies of Scale

Tuesday - 4/25/17

  1. Lect: What is a Business? (Barriers to Entry, Economics of Scale)
  2. Video: Wal-Mart and the Economies of Scale

Block - 4/26/17 - 4/27/17

  1. Finish Frontline Wal-Mart Video
  2. Film Questions due by end of class
  3. HandoutsUrban Outfitters CEO on their customers;  What is'Priming' in a marketing sense?  


Friday - 4/28/17

Monday - 5/1/17 - No School

Week of  5/2/17 - 5/5/17

Focus topic: Product placement and Advertising techniques. 

  • Students will gain a better understanding of the process, role and influence of product placement and advertising in TV and film by watching POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold by Morgan Spurlock
  • Discuss the final project
  • Company needs to be chosen by 5/8/17

Week of 5/8/17 - 5/12/17

  • Company must be selected by 5/8/17 (Mon)
  • Students have the week to work in class on their final project. The overall weight of your final is 20% so PLEASE do not hesitate to ask questions and show your teacher updates on a regular basis. 
  • Rough Draft Update due Monday 5/15/17

Week of 5/15/17 - 5/19/17

  • Monday 5/15/17 last day to turn in any late work
  • Final week to work on Finals in class. 
  • All final projects due on 5/22/17 (Hard copy to teacher and PPT or posters left in class)

Week of 5/22/17 - 5/26/17

  • Presentation of final project this week. Students will have a pre-assigned time slot. If students miss, the presentation is given a zero. 

Student Examples: 


Commercials that sell you on an emotion or feeling attributable to the product.