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8th Grade

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Typical Course of Study

World Book Learning Resources lists typical courses of study for Kindergarten through Grade 12. The course of study for 8th Grade is the:
  • U.S. Economic System,
  • Mathematics of Insurance, and
  • Banking and Taxes.

Academic Standards

Strand 5: Economics, The Social Studies Standard as of May 22, 2006
State of Arizona, Standards and Assessment Division

Concept 1: Foundations of Economics

The foundations of economics are the application of basic economic concepts and decision-making skills. This includes scarcity and the different methods of allocation of goods and services.

Concept 1 Performance Objectives for the 8th Grade

  • PO 1. Explain how limited resources and unlimited human wants cause people to choose some things and give up others.
  • PO 2. Analyze how scarcity, opportunity costs, and trade-offs, influence decision-making.
  • PO 3. Analyze how individuals, governments and businesses make choices based on the availability of resources.
  • PO 4. PO 4. Apply Adam Smith’s ideas of a market economy to:
    a. property rights
    b. freedom of enterprise
    c. competition
    d. consumer choice
    e. limited role of government
  • PO 5. Describe the impact of the availability and distribution of natural resources on an economy.

Concept 2: Microeconomics

Microeconomics examines the costs and benefits of economic choices relating to individuals, markets and industries, and governmental policies.

Concept 2 Performance Objectives for the 8th Grade

  • PO 1. Identify the functions and relationships among various institutions (e.g., business firms, banks, government agencies, labor unions, corporations) that make up an economic system.
  • PO 2. Explain the impact of government investment in human capital:
    a. health (e.g., immunizations)
    b. education (e.g., college grants, loans)
    c. training of people (e.g., Job Corps)
  • PO 3. Explain the impact of government investment in physical capital (e.g., NASA, transportation).
  • PO 4. Describe how income for most people is determined by the value of the goods and services they sell.
  • PO 5. Describe the impact of entrepreneurs (e.g., Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner Donald Trump) in the free enterprise system.
  • PO 6. Analyze how investment in physical capital (e.g., factories, medical advancements, new technologies) leads to economic growth.
  • PO 7. Describe how competition (e.g., Microsoft/Apple, Wal-Mart/Target) affects supply and demand from the vantage point of the consumer and producer.
  • PO 8. Describe how market prices provide incentives to buyers and sellers.
  • PO 9. Describe how protection of private property rights provides incentives to conserve and improve property (e.g., resale market).

Concept 3: Macroeconomics

Macroeconomics examines the costs and benefits of economic choices made at a societal level and how those choices affect overall economic well being.

Concept 3 Performance Objectives for the 8th Grade

  • PO 1. Identify the organization and functions of the Federal Reserve System.
  • PO 2. Identify the effects of inflation on society.
  • PO 3. Analyze the government’s role in economic recovery.

Concept 4: Global Economics

Patterns of global interaction and economic development vary due to different economic systems and institutions that exist throughout the world.

Concept 4 Performance Objectives for the 8th Grade

  • PO 1. Compare how private property rights differ in market (capitalism) economies versus command (communist) economies.
  • PO 2. Identify the effects of trade restrictions between national and world regions.
  • PO 3. Describe the role of the United States government in influencing international commerce in regions studied.
  • PO 4. Identify interdependence (e.g., North American Free Trade Agreement, European Union, International Monetary Fund/ World Bank) between nations.

Concept 5: Personal Finance

Decision making skills foster a person’s individual standard of living. Using information wisely leads to better informed decisions as consumers, workers, investors and effective participants in society.

Concept 5 Performance Objectives for the 8th Grade

  • PO 1. Explain how scarcity influences personal financial choices (e.g., budgeting, saving, investing, credit).
  • PO 2. Describe types of personal investments (e.g., saving accounts, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, retirement funds, land).
  • PO 3. Describe the role of the stock market in personal investing.
  • PO 4. Describe various forms of credit. (e.g., personal loans, credit cards, lines of credit, mortgages, auto loans).
  • PO 5. Analyze the, advantages, disadvantages, and alternatives to consumer credit.
  • PO 6. Analyze the costs and benefits of producing a personal budget.
  • PO 7. Create a personal budget to include fixed and variable expenses.
  • PO 8. Identify the benefits of future financial planning.

National Standards in K-12 Personal Financial Education

Jump$tart is a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources. Jump$tart strives to prepare youth for life-long successful financial decision-making. Their National Standards in K–12 Personal Finance Education describe their minimum requirements for functional financial literacy. They describe what personal finance instruction should enable students to know and do.

Wyland products from Teacher Created Resources

Knowledge Statements

These statements provide guidance at three points in consumer development — the 4th, 8th and 12th grades. They are intended for:

  • Publishers as they develop and revise curricula, and
  • Educators as they select classroom materials and plan lessons.

Category: Financial Responsibility and Decision Making

Overall Competency: Apply reliable information and systematic decision making to personal financial decisions.

Specifically, 8th grade students should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. Financial choices that people make have benefits, costs, and future consequences.
  2. A key to financial well-being is to spend less than you earn.
  3. A consumer should not rely on advertising claims as the sole source of information about goods and services.
  4. Comparison shopping helps consumers get the best value for their money.
Category: Income and Careers

Overall Competency: Use a career plan to develop personal income potential.

Specifically, 8th grade students should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. People can earn income from rent and interest.
  2. Wages/salaries minus payroll deductions equal take-home pay.
  3. Inflation reduces the purchasing power of income.
  4. Government transfer payments provide unearned income to some households.
  5. Generally, people earn higher incomes with higher levels of education.
Category: Planning and Money Management

Overall Competency: Organize personal finances and use a budget to manage cash flow.

Specifically, 8th grade students should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. People perform basic financial tasks to manage money.
  2. A budget identifies expected income and expenses, including saving, and serves as a guide to help people live within their income.
  3. Some payment methods are more expensive than others.
Category: Credit and Debt

Overall Competency: Maintain creditworthiness, borrow at favorable terms, and manage debt.

Specifically, 8th grade students should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. Comparing the costs and benefits of buying on credit is key to making a good purchase decision.
  2. For any given loan amount and interest rate, the longer the loan period, the smaller the monthly payment and the larger the total cost of credit.
  3. Consumers can choose from a variety of credit sources.
  4. Credit bureaus maintain credit reports, which record borrowers’ histories of repaying loans.
  5. Sometimes people borrow more money than they can repay, which can have consequences such as the repossession and garnishment.
Category: Risk Management and Insurance

Overall Competency: Use appropriate and cost-effective risk management strategies.

Specifically, 8th grade students should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. Risk management strategies include risk avoidance, risk control, and risk transfer through insurance.
  2. Laws and regulations exist to protect consumers from a variety of seller and lender abuses.
Category: Saving and Investing

Overall Competency: Implement a diversified investment strategy that is compatible with personal goals.

Specifically, 8th grade students should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. Saving means setting income aside for emergencies and immediate needs. Investing means putting money to work earning more money for the future. Funds for investing often come from current income not spent.
  2. Investments differ in their potential rate of return, liquidity, and level of risk.
  3. There is usually a positive relationship between the average annual return on an investment and its risk.
  4. Compound interest is money earned on both principal and previously earned interest.
  5. Inflation reduces the return on an investment.
  6. The Rule of 72 is a tool for estimating the time or rate of return required to double a sum of money.
  7. Investors can get information from many sources.
  8. People can buy and sell investments in different ways.

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Kids' Money > Teachers > 8th Grade

© Copyright 1995 - 2011 by David McCurrach. All rights reserved. Revised 2/17/2011.