Business & Economics

Business and Economics Coordinator: Anne Weise 


Overview of the Business and Economics Curriculum

BEAM's Business and Economics Curriculum is the pathway toward gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to participate successfully in a market economy and to eventually prosper in the mainstream culture and economy.  BEAM introduces students to practical information about how to earn income, save money, manage money, handle credit, invest for the long term and run businesses.  Students also learn the basic principles and concepts from the discipline of economics, including concepts such as scarcity, choice, opportunity cost and the laws of supply and demand.


BEAM's Business and Economics Curriculum

  • At the kindergarten level, students use children's literature to learn the basic vocabulary and concepts.  Teachers select from several books - located in the Business and Economics classroom -  that illustrate simple economic ideas.  Students learn the following vocabulary words and concepts:                                                               
  •       Income (earnings), work skills, entrepreneur, money, goods, services, needs,  wants, opportunity costs, and savings
  • At grades 1 to 4, teachers use the basic social studies and mathematics curriculum to stress basic concepts in economics and personal finance.  In addition, each teacher introduces additional, specialized lessons.  These supplemental lessons are most often selected from the materials published by the Council on Economic Education.
  • Teachers in Grade 1 teach lessons through a curriculum called Half-Pint Economics.  This curriculum expands on the concepts taught at the Kindergarten level and introduces the students to these vocabulary words and concepts: 
  •       Consumers, producers, productive resources, scarcity, and advertising.
  • Teachers in Grades 2-4 teach the Financial Fitness for Life (FFL) curriculum.  This curriculum dives deeper into the concepts taught in Kindergarten and 1st grade.  The students apply their knowledge to activities and integrate Math and Reading into their understanding and learning.  
  • In fifth grade, the students are introduced  to JA BizTown.  This is a curriculum offered through Junior Achievement.  The students are taken through a curriculum that teaches them entrepreneurship, personal finance, and life skills.  The students attend an all-day "real world" simulation at Junior Achievement as a final project.  The students become entrepreneurs and perform tasks in cooperation with other schools and operate a town (Biz Town). 
  • In grades six, seven, and eight the Business and Economics curriculum becomes more specialized.  Grade six features a one semester course on careers.  Grade seven focuses on Financial Fitness for Life (FFL) lessons associated with personal finance.  Grade eight continues on with FFL and incorporates a year-long study on basic economic concepts.  They also attend JA Finance Park and participate in a "real workd" simulation at Junior Achievement which allows them to navigate through life as an adult based on the profile they are assigned.
  • BEAM's Business and Economics Coordinator supervises the Business and Economics curriculum.



Business and Economics: Teachers and Leaders

All teachers are expected to implement the Business and Economics curriculum at their grade level.  All BEAM teachers receive special training in basic business and economics content as well as how to implement the curriculum in the classroom.


In addition, BEAM's Business and Economics program offers in depth opportunities for students in grades 3-8 to study and learn more business and economics.  These activities involve playing the Stock Market Gam, taking financial field trips, and preparing or and participating in the yearly Financial Investment Challenge Bowl. 




Business and Economics Content Standards


These Content Standards have been approved by the BEAM Board of Directors.  They have been based on the National Voluntary Content Standards published by the National Council on Economic Education and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Model Academic Standards for Economics and Personal Financial Literacy.  The Financial Fitness for Life curriculum used in the classrooms is aligned with many of the national Common Core standards in math and reading. 


Guide to Economic Reasoning

  1. People make choices.
  2. People's choices involve costs.
  3. People respond to incentives in predictable ways.
  4. People create economic systems -- rules of the game -- which influence individual incentives and choices.
  5. People gain when they trade voluntarily.
  6. People's choices have consequences which lie in the future.


Personal Financial Literacy

  1. Income and education
  2. Money Management
  3. Credit and Debt Management
  4. Planning, Saving and Investing
  5. Risk Management

Primary Sources of Business and Economics Materials

  • National Council on Economic Education: Financial Fitness for Life Series, Focus Series, Eco-Detectives, Mathematics and Economics
  • AGS Career Planning
  • AGS Economics