Discipline: Social Studies

Grade Level: 11th, 12th

Course: Economics

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Comparing Economic Systems
  • Student Work Samples
    • Within the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) framework, student work samples answer the critical question, "What Results?" The inclusion of student work within the module design provides teachers insight into how to improve the quality of the teaching task and the feedback they give on student strengths and challenges.

  • Classroom Assessment Task
    • Optional: May be used as a pre-test or post-test

      Background to share with students (optional):

      The government plays a significant role in the development of America';s economy. Voters elect leaders who will represent their views on the government's role in the economy. The federal minimum wage is a government regulation created in the 1930s to ensure workers receive adequate pay from employers. However, minimum wage is a government intervention that has both positive and negative effects on America's economy, and its value is debated among politicians and the public.

      Classroom assessment task:

      Do you believe that the federal minimum wage in America should be raised? After reading the article, "Should the federal minimum wage be raised?", write a short essay that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the texts. Be sure to acknowledge competing views.

      Reading texts:

      Edward Kennedy and Todd Stottlemeyer, "Should the federal minimum wage be raised?" http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/upfront/debate/index.asp?article=d0918

  • Argumentation Classroom Assessment Rubric
    • Meets Expectations


      Addresses the prompt and stays on task; provides a generally convincing response.


      Demonstrates generally effective use of reading material to develop an argument.

      Controlling Idea

      Establishes a credible claim, and supports an argument that is logical and generally convincing.

      L2: Acknowledges competing arguments while defending the claim.


      Develops reasoning to support claim; provides evidence from text in the form of examples or explanations relevant to the argument.

      L3: Makes a relevant connection that supports argument.


      Applies an appropriate text structure to address specific requirements of the prompt.


      Demonstrates a command of standard English conventions and cohesion; employs language and tone appropriate to audience and purpose.

      Not Yet


      Attempts to address prompt but lacks focus or is off-task.


      Demonstrates weak use of reading material to develop argument.

      Controlling Idea

      Establishes a claim and attempts to support an argument but is not convincing.

      L2: Attempts to acknowledge competing arguments.


      Reasoning is not clear; examples or explanations are weak or irrelevant.

      L3: Connection is weak or not relevant.


      Provides an ineffective structure; composition does not address requirements of the prompt.


      Demonstrates a weak command of standard English conventions; lacks cohesion; language and tone are not appropriate to audience and purpose.

  • Teacher Work Section
    • Here are added thoughts about teaching this module:

      The module was very effective in my economics classes. A few ideas to keep in mind for revision of the module:

      • Provide more supports for ELL students who have very limited English.
      • Use Meta-Cognitive Logs instead of the Summary/Analysis Template.

      Possible variations:

      • Formal class debate about market vs. democratic socialist economy.
      • Students are "stranded on an island" in small groups and must create an economic system to survive. They must create their idea of an ideal structure for the island's government and economy.
  • Appendix
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