This lesson plan has students compare and debate the characteristics of different economic systems.
Students will look at how Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism differ from one another in the following 5 categories: 1. Role of Government 2. Incentives 3. Economic Freedom 4. Competition 5. Property Rights
Lesson begins with a brief 4 minute powerpoint that goes over what the 5 basic characteristics of economic systems are.
Then, teacher divides the students into groups and pairs the groups off to debate one other.
Each group is assigned 1 economic system to represent. For 4 groups, I suggest these pairings: Capitalism vs Socialism Capitalism vs Communism If the class has 6 groups, you can have the last pair debate Socialism vs Communism.
Each group is given a 2 page article about their economic system and a 2 page article about their opponent's system.
They then use these articles to prepare a speech arguing for the advantages of their system and the weaknesses of their opponent's system.
I also have the students draw a poster to visually illustrate their main arguments. After the debate, the remainder of the powerpoint quickly runs down and reviews each economic system's characteristics.
For Texas teachers, this lesson addresses the following TEKs:
E.5 Economics. The student understands free enterprise, socialist, and communist economic systems. The student is expected to: (A) describe the basic characteristics of economic systems, including property rights, incentives, economic freedom, competition, and the role of government
E.5 Economics. The student understands free enterprise, socialist, and communist economic systems. The student is expected to: (B) compare the free enterprise system, socialism, and communism using the basic characteristics of economic systems
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This will be very helpful in explaining the economies to students as that is a weakness for me. I like the texts too. I am not going to debate as this is going to be part of the self-paced unit. Instead, students will use the readings to make pro/con charts.