Discipline: Social Studies

Grade Level: 11th, 12th

Course: Economics

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Comparing Economic Systems
  • Background to Share with Students
    • Every society operates with a mixed economic system, combining the influences of market and command models in order to form a functioning economy and government. Individual countries have unique combinations of the market and command influences depending on how countries prioritize different economic goals.

  • Task / Text
    • Teaching Task

      What combination of market and command systems do you believe creates an ideal mixed economy? After reading informational and opinion texts, write an essay that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the texts. Be sure to acknowledge competing views.

      Reading Texts
      • John Edwards and Edward Tanner, "Should the U.S. have a National Healthcare System?" (article)
      • David Kestenbaum, "Denmark Thrives Despite High Taxes" (transcript of broadcast)
      • William Booth "As Cuba Gives Capitalism a try, Experts Ponder Future" (article)
      • Paul Krugman and John Tierney, "Wal-Mart: Good or Evil" (article)
      • "The World's Best Countries" (interactive infographic)
      Extension (Optional)

      Students participate in a formal class debate about the future of America's economic system, using their essays and other research to defend their market and command preferences on different topics (healthcare, welfare, education, taxes, etc.).

  • Content Standards
    • Standards Source: Number: Content Standards:

      Oregon State Standards


      Compare and contrast the allocation of goods and services in market and command economies.


      Evaluate different economic systems, comparing advantages and disadvantages of each.

  • Reading Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Reading Standards "When Appropriate" Reading Standards (applicable in black)
      • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
      • Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
      • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
      • Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
      • Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
      • Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
      • Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
      • Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
      • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
      • Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • Writing Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Writing Standards "When Appropriate" Writing Standards (applicable in black)
      • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
      • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
      • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
      • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audience.
      • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
      • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
      • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
      • Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
  • Scoring Rubric for Argumentation Template Tasks
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