Arkansas Focused Curriculums for the K-12 Classroom

The mission at ACRE is to promote Arkansas-focused economic solutions that respect the personal and economic freedoms of individuals, because protecting and expanding these freedoms has a proven record of improving the lives of people around the world and here at home. Through our K-12 curriculums, we explore that proven record in the classroom by creating learning opportunities for teachers and students exploring how economics works, how economists create & analyze data, and how economics applies to the lives of individuals, groups, and communities.

Current Offerings:

Time Well Spent with Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl

Do you know why the number 8760 is important? It’s the number of hours in a year. What if we thought about how much of our life it takes to buy something, like a carton of eggs or a house, instead of thinking about how many dollars it costs?  This curriculum explores an alternate way of thinking about the “cost” of any object: the effort that is “hidden” underneath a dollar bill.

Economic Freedom of the World with Dr. Mavuto Kalulu

The original and in some ways the central question of economics is: Why are some countries rich and others poor? Beyond being able to merely describe the differences, we want to understand how to make poor countries richer and rich countries better. This curriculum and corresponding activities describe the components of economic freedom and gives examples that can illustrate the concepts to students. Students will explore concepts like the “Rule of Law,” government size, costs and spending, regulatory efficiency, and the role of markets and trade.

Sweatshops and Opportunity Cost with Dr. Thomas Snyder

When we think of sweatshops, we tend to picture individuals working in places with conditions we find hard to imagine and for pay we’d never even consider. Through this lesson plan and the connected activities, learners explore the concept of “opportunity cost,” the next best option that we all give up whenever we make a choice. Through the lesson, videos, readings, and activities, learners see how sweatshop conditions compare to the other options people in developing countries have and be invited to think about how having more “bad” options can be better than having less.

Budget Building Basics with Dr. Kathryn Carroll

The lesson plan provides examples that you can discuss with students to show them how to track income and expenses as well as how to create short and long terms savings plans. Vocabulary strategies are also included to get students comfortable using personal finance terms like net & gross income and fixed & variable expenses.

Personal Financial Management with Dr. Mike Casey

This series provides multiple days of lesson plans, activities, discussion prompts, and assessment materials for teaching Arkansas’s Act 480 standards for incorporating personal finance topics across Arkansas classrooms. Students learn about jobs and salaries around the United States, explore their personal and professional career interests, and create plans for achieving their career goals while learning about career readiness, taxation, interest rates, earning, saving, and wealth building throughout their lives.

Economic History with Dr. Marcus Witcher

In Arkansas, licensed social studies educators can be found teaching several different social studies courses in a single school year: US & World History, Civics, Geography, Economics, and more. This curriculum was designed to provide teachers with resources for teaching about economic events in their history, civics, and government classes. These units can be embedded into existing history, civics, and government units to incorporate economic topics or used in economics classes to present historical case studies of economics in action. Each unit includes full lesson plans with background information, primary source and research activities, hands-on games, and AMI alternatives for teaching outside the classroom.

PD coordinators and educators looking for guest speakers can reach out to an ACRE scholar to arrange a presentation or classroom visit!