Teaching Money Supply through Star Wars and a Think-Pair-Share:
Goals for students in Kindergarten and Older
- Have students understand what makes something money.
- Have students understand why stores won’t take money from other countries.
- Have students understand what bartering is and how it is used as a substitute when money is not available.
Additional goals for grades 9-College
- Examine how countries with hyperinflation have had to revert to bartering systems when currencies become worthless.
- Discuss how the liquidity of an asset influences how it’s categorized in the money supply.
Time Required: The entire lesson should take 15-20 minutes if you only address cases where bartering is used today, and 25-30 minutes if you include the more advanced lessons on international currency and hyperinflation.
Materials Required: None
An understanding of Money Supply allows students to understand several economic concepts, such as what makes a good type of money, different types of money (and why some money is more valuable than others), bartering, hyperinflation, and liquidity.
- What is/what makes money
- Different types of money
- Bartering economy and reasons for it
- Hyperinflation and reasons for it
Plan for the Classroom:
First, watch the clip “Qui-Gon’s Republic Credits Are No Good” from The Phantom Menace. Then conduct a Think-Pair-Share with students where you ask students to:
- On their own, write down why Republic Credits, which are considered money across the galaxy, aren’t acceptable for Watto.
- Pair up with another student and share answers.
- Ask the class for some good examples that their partners provided
- Then ask if money isn’t acceptable anywhere, how could Qui-Gon get the part he needs? (Discussion should lead to bartering.)
- Show the clip “Han Walks Through Barter Economy.”
Now that the students have done a think-pair-share and have seen both videos, they should be in a good position to think through bartering situations. Here are some questions you could ask:
- Where does bartering happen today?
- trading cards, lunchroom, etc.
- Why doesn’t the local grocery store in the USA take Canadian money? (If not in the US, replace it with a home country and a neighboring country.)
For more advanced students, these clips could lead into a discussion that hyperinflation – which makes currencies worthless – leads to bartering and how this has happened throughout history. (Germany between the World Wars, Zimbabwe and Venezuela now).