On the Impending Debt Ceiling Problem

The government shut down is news everywhere and the debt ceiling is looming.

This is a great graphic  from NPR that depicts the entities to which the US Government owes money, approximately $16.8 trillion. This image could easily be used in any Social Studies course, and is interesting for general reference.

The Stock Market Crashes (in 1929)

In my first year of teaching, when I got to the point of the Crash of ’29, 


one of my colleagues shared this stock market simulation with me. A couple of days ago, one of my colleagues 

was looking for my set of the simulation’s cards and I worried that the directions were lost. A quick Google search for “Stock Market Durant Motors Kroger Foods” brought up the directions, handouts and all.  Why share a no-tech simulation on a tech blog? Because the simulation is timeless and technology helped me find the details again. (I also downloaded the pdf for safe keeping!) 

I hope history/econ students you know can enjoy the simulation too.

(The photo shows the floor of the Stock Exchange just after the Crash of 1929, thank you to the Hoover Presidential Library for posting the image!)

Learning about Chocolate

Maybe it is because it is dinner time, but this entry is a fun tribute to chocolate. Whether it is for an interdisciplinary middle school unit or a foods class, economics, ecology, there are some really fun resources about chocolate out there.  The Field Museum has a great Chocolate Exhibition: Field Museumchocolate exhibition which explores the history of chocolate, the chocolate production process, and a just for kids section which includes trivia, crossword puzzles, recipes and more. There is also a great educator resource kit which includes 12 lesson plans for environment and culture which address economics, ecology, botany and culture and includes lists of resources, facts, recipes, and more.

To support its chocolate exhibition, The Field Museum also has three “interactives” focusing on chocolate: Step 3 of the Chocolate Production Process

1. Manufacturing Chocolate From Seed to Sweet. Explore a virtual cacao harvest and processing of the cacao, fun and informative. A learning log might be useful for students to journal about what they learn.

2. The Chocolate Challenge.  A trivia game of sorts that travels the history and international reach of chocolate.

3. The Cacao Farm. Explores the relationships between plants and animals in the rain forest and the growth of the cacao plant.

And who doesn’t think of Hershey’s when talking about chocolate? The Hershey’s website has a virtual factory tour, a large number of recipes, and the Hershey Communiy Archives guides the visitor through the chocolate creating endeavors of Milton and Catherine Hershey. From photos to patents to online exhibits about candy wrappers, this site holds a wealth of primary source resources relating to an historic “American” endeavor.

Museum Monday Returns

I enjoy the Museum Mondays, I had last week’s all ready to roll in my brain and then I got behind on another deadline and something had to give this time. Welcome back to Museum Monday.

Today’s museum was highlighted on March 27 by NPR it is the Museum of American Finance. Located in New York not far from the New York Stock Exchange (which also has some great educational materials), the Museum of American Finance is dedicated to the history of money and the role of finance in the US. Even with the focus on the US, the museum has been helping the public understand the current economic crisis. The website has a time line of the credit crisis that is able to be downloaded, topics of past exhibits which could be used by teachers for research or lesson topics, a PowerPoint lesson focusing on quotations of 12 finance “leaders,” and a great collection of finance-related links.

Happy Monday, here’s to a great week!