Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Specialization - Economic Change Over Time AND Economic Systems

Specialization can be used with different concepts. Students can use specialization to understand the historical aspect of how economics has changed over time. Students can also look at specialization through the purely-economic lens.

5th grade - Early American History
When students are engaged in studies of early American History, a common conceptual goal involves economics. The ways people participate in the economic community has changed over time, especially as it relates to specialization. Early communities had wig makers, brick makers, and other different specialized ways of participating in the economic community. View the following videos and ask students, "How does specialization in the colonial era compare the specialization today?"

6th grade - Economic Systems
When student are engaged in studies of the Western Hemisphere, they are frequently asked to describe different characteristics of economic systems. Specialization is something that some economic systems include, and others do not. View the following videos and ask, "What might specialization look like in different economies of today?"

The Bike Maker (specializing to create a good)

Made by Hand / Teaser - The Bike Maker from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

The Beekeeper (specializing to provide goods)

Made by Hand / No 3 The Beekeeper from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

I love the video "The Knife Maker" (specializing to provide a good) - This IS NOT recommended for students when using sound. The knife maker uses foul language a few times in the video, but his craft is amazing. I suggest turning off the volume and ask students to observe the process of this craft.

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