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Wall St. Rookies

Subjects:

Math, Social Studies  

Grades:

4, 5, 6  

Title – Wall St. Rookies
By – Jason Fuscellaro
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – Math, Social Studies
Grade Level – Elementary 4-6
Multiple Intelligence Lesson Plan

Time Frame: 7-10 days

Curriculum Guide: There are no textbook or curriculum guides for this particular project or lesson plan. However, NJCCS 6.6.1-6.6.5 state that all students have a general understanding of the role of money, supply and demand, and the economy.

Materials: Stock Certificate and Buy Order sheets, fake money, computer with Internet access (www.cnbc.com), everyday products (such as a radio, sneaker, computer, etc.), bell.

Objective: To give students a general understanding of the U.S. economy especially the concepts of; money, products, company, markets, stocks, investments, and factors affecting these.

Teacher Note: A general understanding of economics is needed to do this lesson. An understanding of how the stock market works, how stocks are bought and sold, how companies issue stock and why, and the dynamics of a generic company are also important.

The following activities should be done in the order presented below. Throughout these activities discuss with students any news about companies discussed with the class. How will this news (bad or good) affect the company. Will it cause the stock price to rise or fall? This will get the students looking in the news and thinking about how news affects the economy.
Teaching strategy marked in italics.

-Discussion-
Introduction of investments: Discuss with students the various types of investments: savings accounts, savings bonds, CD’s, stocks. Have students talk about their own personal investments if they have any. Show students the difference between gaining 3% interest and 10% interest (Which is the average rate of return on stocks.) (Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical)

-Visualizing, Touching-
Introduction of product: Students will identify several different products shown to them. They will give the name of the product and what company makes it. Allow students to hold the product and investigate it by reading words on it or on it’s packaging to determine the company that manufactures it. Discuss what a product is. (Linguistic, Spatial, Kinesthetic)

-Visualizing, Conceptualizing-
Introduction of company: Show students a flow chart of how a company works and discuss the various stages of how a product moves from producer to consumer. (Linguistic, Spatial)
Revisit the companies discussed previously and categorize (sort) them into industries. Discuss the different types of industries. (Logical-Mathematical, Linguistic)

-Guided Imagining, Inventing, Acting it Out, Collaborating-
Introduction of IPO (initial public offering): An IPO is the initial offering of the stock of a company where the company uses the proceeds to fund development or expansion of the company. Have students imagine that their class wants to start a company selling product X (this can be whatever you choose or something the class chooses). Have them come up with reasons why their product is the best and why people would want to buy it. Then have them imagine that the company is doing well locally but in order to make the big bucks, they have to expand the company nationally. In order to do this they have to raise some money to hire more employees, and get more equipment to make the product as demand increases. Ask them how they think they can get the money. They will most likely say that the bank will lend them money. This is okay, but selling stock is a better way to go. Selling stock does not require that you pay the person back. All you have to do is give them a share of your company in exchange for some of their money. They become your partner. Now explain to them that all of the reasons you came up with for their product X being the best has to convince people to invest. If they invest they are given stock in the classes’ company. (Spatial, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal)

-Role Playing, Acting it out, Collaborating-
Introduction of markets: Teacher will show students a product the whole class is familiar with (Example: Walkman, watch, etc.). Have students pass to each other and pretend to sell it to each other. Teacher must set the price of each transaction. This demonstrates the dynamic of a market, how a product can change hands quickly and each person receives the money from the transaction not the original person. This helps set up the idea of how the stock market works. (Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal)

-Role Playing, Acting it Out, Observing it-
Introduction of stocks: Play Exchange Game. Students are given stock certificates with company name and the price paid for them already on it. Students are given play money in whatever amount is necessary to buy stocks from each other. Each student gets however many stock certificates and buy orders necessary. Recommended amount per student: 2 stock certificates, 2 buy orders. The key is to make sure that every student winds up with stock certificates that they purchased and no buy orders outstanding. Ring bell and start trading. This mimics how the New York Stock Exchange operates. Before ringing the bell this is also a good time to explain the reason fore the bell. There has to be order and rules to trading or it wouldn’t be organized or fair. Tell the students that they are the traders so get to work. After 10-15 minutes have a student ring the bell to signal the end of the “trading day” or time. (Naturalist-Physical World, Interpersonal, Bodily-Kinesthetic)

At the end of the activities students should have a general understanding of a company, stocks, and the stock market.

Assessment: One of the following could be a possible assessment of the students’ understanding of the concept of a company, product, and the stock market.

Have students draw a flow chart of how a company works or how the stock market operates.
Have students give a written or oral response to explain the way a company works, what a product is and where it originates.
Have students give a written or oral response to explain how the stock market works. Have students divide into groups and have them create their own company, product and present their company and product to the class with the intention of trying to get the class to buy their stock in an IPO.

A good way to end this lesson plan, would be a visit to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, or the New York Stock Exchange. If this is not possible a class project could be done. Using the Internet, on www.cnbc.com, anyone can set up a portfolio. Have students pick 5 or 10 companies that they would like to own. Pick an amount of money the class will “pretend” invest for a given amount of time. One day in class have the students gather around the computer. Find the symbols for the companies, and then get price quotes. Tell students that you are going to purchase the stocks for those prices. Take the amount of money you choose to invest and divide it by the current price(what you get in the quote) This will give you the amount of shares that you will purchase. Do this for all of the stocks. Go to the portfolio section of the website and create a user ID and a password. You will need an email address. Once this is completed you can set up your portfolio and track it by the minute, hour, day, week, or month. This is a good in-class field trip. Maybe have the CNBC TV station on while doing this to create the effect of a stock trading office. You can extend it even further by including a weekly chart of how your investments are doing. You can create a chart of the weekly performance of the individual stocks.

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