Online LEI Lesson 4. Lesson 4 Why Do People Go to School? LEARNING, EARNING

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1 Online LEI Lesson 4 Lesson 4 Why Do People Go to School? On l i n e L E I 39

2 4 Why Do People Go to School? LESS 4 WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO SCHOOL? Lesson Description The students look at a simple chart relating education level with average annual income. From the data the students generalize that people with more education usually earn more income. They learn that human capital refers to the knowledge, skills, talent, health, values and experience that people bring to the workplace. Working in small groups, the students receive information about the budgets of various families whose members have different levels of education. They learn about fixed and variable expenses and note that level of education can affect people s standard of living. Standards It is important for the students to understand the connection between human capital and income. The choices they make today to improve their human capital can have a direct effect on their future standard of living. Personal Finance Income 1. Identify sources of income. Concepts Money Management 1. Explain how limited personal financial resources affect the choices people make. Budget Expenses Fixed expenses Human capital Income Variable expenses 13. Income for most people is determined by the market value of the productive resources they sell. What workers earn depends, primarily, on the market value of what they produce and how productive they are. Income 2. Analyze how career choice, education, skills, and economic conditions affect income. Procedure The students will: 1. Define and give examples of budget, expenses, fixed expenses, human capital, income and variable expenses. 2. Explain the relationship between human capital and income. Time Required 9 minutes Materials Transparencies of Visuals 1, 2 and 3 One copy of Activity 1 for each group of 3-4 students One copy of Activity 2, cut apart to create one card for each group of 4 students; place cards in box Small box One copy of Activity 3, corresponding to the card from Activity 2, for each group, and a calculator for each group Economics 1. Productive resources are limited. Therefore, people cannot have all the goods and services they want; as a result, they must choose some things and give up others. Mathematics Number and Operations for Grades 3-5 and Grades 6-8 Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems Objectives 4 A transparency of the Washington Family Monthly Expenses and the Meszaros Family Monthly Expenses from Activity 3 1. Present the students with this mystery: Children and teenagers generally are required to attend school, and they sometimes find that school gets to be tiresome. They occasionally tune out during the school day when they feel bored, and some skip school altogether when they think they can get away with it. Yet many young people continue to attend school after they graduate from high school, even though no law says they must continue. In fact, some continue to attend school for a long time after high school graduation, earning certificates, degrees and advanced degrees. Why would young people continue to attend school voluntarily when many of them have complained about school in the past? 2. Discuss the mystery and the students responses to the question it raises. Responses will vary: Their parents expect them to go to college, or to gain skills; all their friends are going to college; they don t feel ready to begin full-time work. Note the main responses in a list on the board. Tell the students that they will come back to this mystery in just a few minutes.

3 Online LEI Lesson 4 3. Then turn to a second mystery, this one related to work: Many adults complain about their jobs. Some don t like getting up early in the morning and fighting the traffic to get to work. Some don t like their bosses or their co-workers. Some say their jobs are boring. Yet most adults want to have jobs, and most would be very unhappy to be without a job. Why do people who complain about work continue to hold jobs nonetheless? Discuss the mystery and the students responses to the question it raises. Responses may vary, but many students will state that people continue to work because they want to earn money. 4. Emphasize the connection between working and earning money. Explain that people who work earn wages (an hourly rate of pay, for example) or a salary (a certain amount of money per year, for example). Wages and salaries are two common forms of income, the payment people receive for providing resources in the economy. Most people earn their income by providing labor, that is, by working. 5. If people are willing to work in order to earn income, they must think income is very important. Why is income important? What do people do with the income they earn? Everything. They buy houses, furniture and food; they send their children to camp and buy braces to straighten their teeth; they travel; they buy tickets to concerts and art exhibits; they go fishing; they donate money to charities. In short, they use their income to do the things that are important to them. 6. Now refer back to the mystery about people who continue to attend school even when they don t have to. Tell the students that there is a connection between this mystery and the mystery about workers who complain about their jobs but keep working anyway. To find out what the connection is, they will examine some information about income and education. 7. Divide the class into groups of three or four students. Distribute a copy of Activity 1 to each group, and project a transparency of Visual 1. Tell the students to think about the information on Visual 1 and respond to the questions on Activity When the students have completed their work, review their responses 1. more; 2. more; 3. more; 4. more; 5. increase and discuss them briefly. Summarize by explaining that people who stay in school and keep going to school even when they don t have to probably do so because they want more education. And they probably want more education because people with more education usually earn more income than people with less education. 9. Ask the students what it is about education that accounts for the connection to higher incomes. Answers will vary. Explain that education is one means by which people acquire human capital. The term human capital refers to the knowledge, talent, skills, health, values and experience individuals possess. People with more human capital usually are more productive workers than people with less human capital. They work harder and they work smarter. As a result, they earn more income. 1. Tell the students that they will participate in an activity designed to show how the income families earn affects the way families live. 11. Divide the class into groups of four students (if possible). Ask one student from each group to draw a card from the box (see the Materials list and Activity 2). Project a transparency of Visual 2. Ask the students, by groups, to read their cards to the class. As they read the cards, record information about education and wages on the transparency. (Note: Some student groups may have the same family cards.) Remind the students of their conclusion, above, that people who have more education usually earn more income. Ask whether this generalization holds true for the family groups. Yes. 12. Introduce the term budget. Explain that a budget is a plan to manage income, spending and saving. Expenses are payments for goods and services, that is, spending. Distribute the appropriate copy of Activity 3 to each family group. Explain that this handout lists expenses for each family. The groups will compare their families monthly expenses to monthly income. 13. Display Visual 3 and discuss the following questions. Record the students answers on the transparency. A. Some families buy houses and make house payments. Other families rent houses or apartments. How much does the Sooter family spend on housing? $85 B. How much does the Washington family spend on housing? $2,5 C. How much does the Meszaros family spend on housing? $65 D. Why are the Washingtons able to spend more on housing? They earn more income each month, so they have more money to spend on goods and services. E. How much do the other families spend on housing? Walsh, $9; Watts, $1,25; Phares, $95 41

4 4 Why Do People Go to School? 14. Explain that house payments are a fixed expense. Fixed expenses are those that do not vary from week to week or month to month. Ask the students to identify other examples of fixed expenses from the budgets. Rent, car payments, car insurance payments, health insurance payments, childcare. Discuss the following and record the answers on Visual 3. A. How much does the Walsh family spend on groceries each month? $7 B. How much does the Meszaros family spend on groceries each month? $5 C. How much do the other families spend on groceries each month? Washington, $7; Sooter, $55; Watts, $75; Phares, $45 D. How much does the Walsh family spend on movies and meals at restaurants each month? $25 E. How much does the Watts family spend on movies and meals at restaurants each month? $1 F. How much do the other families spend on movies and meals at restaurants each month? Washington, $2; Sooter, $25; Meszaros, $25; Phares, $8 G. How much does the Sooter family spend on vacation and gifts each month? $75 H. How much do the other families spend on vacation and gifts each month? Washington, $25; Meszaros, $25; Walsh, $5; Watts, $75; Phares, $6 I. How much does each family spend on clothing each month? Washington, $25; Sooter, $1; Meszaros, $1; Walsh, $125; Watts, $2; Phares, $1 J. Why might some families spend more than others on these items? Variation in family size; variation in incomes; different priorities. 15. Explain that purchases of food, clothing and entertainment (such as movies, meals in restaurants, gifts and vacations) are examples of variable expenses. Variable expenses are those that may change from week to week or month to month. In one month people may spend more on food than they spend in another month. Ask the students for other examples of variable expenses. Video games, vending machine snacks, movie rentals, concert tickets, etc Tell the students to answer the questions on Activity 3. Circulate to check the groups answers. The answers are below. Washington family Fixed expenses: house payment, car payment, car insurance Variable expenses: gasoline; electricity, water, phone; groceries; movies and meals at restaurants; vacations and gifts; clothing Total fixed expenses: $3,19 Total variable expenses: $1,75 Total expenses: $4,94 The Washington family income is greater than the family s expenses. Sooter family Fixed expenses: house payment, car payment, car insurance, childcare Variable expenses: gasoline; electricity, water, phone; groceries; movies and meals at restaurants; vacation and gifts; clothing Total fixed expenses: $1,42 Total variable expenses: $955 Total expenses: $2,375 The Sooter family income is greater than the family s expenses. Meszaros family Fixed expenses: rent, health insurance, childcare Variable expenses: public transportation; electricity, water, phone; groceries; movies and meals at restaurants; vacation and gifts; clothing Total fixed expenses: $1, Total variable expenses: $925 Total expenses $1,925 The Meszaros family income is greater than the family s expenses. Walsh family Fixed expenses: house payment, health insurance Variable expenses: public transportation; electricity, water, phone; groceries; movies and meals at restaurants; vacation and gifts; clothing Total fixed expenses: $1,75 Total variable expenses: $1,225 Total expenses: $2,3 The Walsh family income is greater than the family s expenses.

5 Online LEI Lesson 4 Watts family Fixed expenses: house payment, car payment, car insurance Variable expenses: gasoline; electricity, water, phone; groceries; movies and meals at restaurants; vacation and gifts; and clothing Total fixed expenses: $1,6 Total variable expenses: $1,5 Total expenses: $3,1 The Watts family income is greater than the family s expenses. Phares family Fixed expenses: house payment, car payment, car insurance Variable expenses: gasoline; electricity, water, phone; groceries; movies and meals at restaurants; vacation and gifts; clothing Total fixed expenses: $1,275 Total variable expenses: $1,15 Total expenses: $2,29 The Phares family income is greater than the family s expenses. 17. Discuss the following. A. Some families spend money on health insurance and others do not. Why? Some of their employers provide health insurance, and others do not. Some may not be able to afford it. B. Why don t some families have cars? Perhaps they cannot afford a car, or they may find it more convenient to use public transportation. C. Why do some people pay childcare expenses while others do not? Some families have older children who don t require childcare. In some families, parents work different shifts, or grandparents provide care. 18. Point out that each family had some income left each month. Explain that the income people don t spend each month is saving. The money people save may be used to pay for an emergency or an unexpected expense. 19. Explain that some people use some of the income they don t spend on goods and services for the family to make donations to religious organizations or charities. 2. Ask the students what would happen if a family spent more in a month (had more expenses) than it had income for the month? Answers will vary. Explain that when people spend more income than they have, they must either reduce their expenses, find a way to earn more income or borrow. A. Suppose that it is December and very cold. The Washington family s furnace breaks down and must be replaced. The Washingtons are told that it will cost $5, to replace the furnace. What will the family have to do to pay this expense? If they have savings, they can use their savings to pay for the furnace. If they don t have savings, they can reduce their variable expenses and/or borrow money to pay for the furnace. They can try to earn extra income. B. If the Washingtons decide to reduce their variable expenses, how might they do that? Reduce the amount they spend on movies, eating out, vacation, gifts, groceries and so on. C. Why can t the Washingtons reduce the amount they spend for their car or house payments? These are fixed expenses. The Washington family must pay these expenses each month or risk losing their house or cars. 22. Display a transparency of the Meszaros Family Monthly Expenses. Discuss the following. A. Suppose that the Meszaros family s refrigerator breaks down, and they must buy a new one. The price of a new refrigerator is $6. What will the Meszaroses have to do to pay this expense? If they have savings, they can use their savings to pay for the refrigerator. If they don t have savings, they can reduce their variable expenses and/or borrow money to pay for the refrigerator. They can try to earn extra income. B. If the Meszaros family wants to reduce variable expenses, what can family members do? Reduce the amount they spend on movies, eating out, vacation, gifts, groceries and so on. C. Why can t the Meszaros family reduce the amount spent for their health insurance or rent? These are fixed expenses. The Meszaros family must pay this amount each month or risk being forced to leave their apartment, or not having health insurance. 23. Point out that the Washington family earns more income than the other families. This means that the Washington family can spend more on their house and cars. It also means that they can afford to buy more goods and services, such as food and clothing. Ask the students why the Washingtons earn more income. Both Mr. and Ms. Washington finished college. This gives them access to better-paying jobs. 21. Project a transparency of the Washington Family Monthly Expenses. Discuss the following: 43

6 4 Why Do People Go to School? Closure Review the main points of the lesson. 1. What is human capital? The knowledge, talent, skills, health, values and experience possessed by individuals. 2. How can people improve their human capital? Through education, training and practice. 3. What is the usual relationship between a person s ability to earn income and the person s human capital? Usually, people with more human capital earn more income. 4. Why is it a good idea to finish high school? If you have more education, you usually are able to earn more income. 5. If you earn more income, are you able to buy more or fewer goods and services than someone who earns less income? More goods and services. Assessment Multiple-Choice Questions 1. Which of the following is an example of a variable expense? a. Rent b. Car payment c. Eating out at restaurants d. Health insurance payment 2. Human capital refers to a. people working. b. the income people earn when they work. c. tools and equipment people use when they work. 6. Why do people go to college? For more education. 7. What is income? The payment people receive for providing resources in the economy. d. the knowledge, talent, skills, health, values and experience that people bring to the workplace. 3. If people have to adjust their budget because of an unexpected expense, they can 8. What is a budget? A plan to manage income, spending and saving. a. put more money in savings. 9. What are expenses? Payments for goods and services spending. c. find ways to increase expenses and reduce income. 1. Give some examples of expenditures you make. Some examples are lunch, snacks, going to the movies and gifts. 11. What are fixed expenses? Those that do not vary from week to week or month to month. 12. Give some examples of fixed expenses that a family might have. Rent, house payment, car payment, insurance payment. 13. What are variable expenses? Expenses that may change from week to week or month to month. 14. Give some examples of variable expenses that a family might have. Groceries, entertainment, clothing How can families adjust their budgets if there is an emergency or an unexpected expense? Families can use savings, find ways to reduce expenses, increase income or borrow. b. lend some money to others. d. find ways to decrease expenses and increase income. 4. Which of the following is a fixed expense for a family? a. Rent b. Going to movies c. Buying clothes d. Eating out at restaurants Short-Response Questions 1. Describe the relationship between the amount of education people have and the amount of income they earn. Explain why this relationship exists. People with more education usually earn more income. Education helps people to develop their human capital. People with more human capital are usually more qualified and more productive workers.

7 Online LEI Lesson 4 2. Martin saved $5 for a new video game system. His grandmother lent him the rest of the money he needed. He promised to repay the loan by giving his grandmother $3 from his allowance each week. If he doesn t make the payment, his grandmother gets the video game system. Martin receives an allowance of $1 each week. He uses his allowance to buy snacks, movies, gifts for friends, skating and other things he wants. His friends are planning to go to an amusement park in eight weeks. Martin thinks that he will need $5 for the trip. a. What fixed expense(s) does Martin have? b. What are three variable expenses Martin has? c. If Martin wants to have $5 for the trip, what will he have to do? d. Why can t Martin stop paying his grandmother each week? Answers: A. $3 per week to pay his grandmother; B. snacks, gifts, movies, skating and other things he wants; C. If Martin wants to save $5, he will have to reduce his variable expenses; D. The payment to his grandmother is a fixed expense. If he stops making that payment, he risks losing his video game system. 45

8 4 Why Do People Go to School? LESS 4 VISUAL 1 EDUCATI INCOME Average Median Income Males and Females Aged 25 and Older, 1998 Amount (Levels) of Education People who graduate from college with a bachelor s degree $42,695 People who earn an associate degree $33,43 People who go to college for 1 to 3 years but do not graduate $3,986 People who graduate from high school $26,325 People who do not graduate from high school $16,343 Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, 2. 46

9 Online LEI Lesson 4 LESS 4 VISUAL 2 FAMILY EDUCATI INCOME Family Education Income Washington Mr. Washington Ms. Washington Sooter Ms. Sooter Meszaros Ms. Meszaros Watts Mr. Watts Ms. Watts Walsh Mr. Walsh Ms. Walsh Phares Ms. Phares 47

10 4 Why Do People Go to School? LESS 4 VISUAL 3 FAMILY EXPENSES Family Housing Food Movies and Meals at Restaurants Vacation and Gifts Washington Sooter Meszaros Watts Walsh Phares 48

11 Online LEI Lesson 4 LESS 4 ACTIVITY 1 EDUCATI INCOME 1. Do people who graduate from high school usually earn more or less than people who don t graduate from high school? 2. Do people who go to college for one to three years usually earn more or less than people who graduate from high school but don t go to college? 3. Do people who go to college and earn an associate degree usually earn more or less than people who go to college but don t earn a degree? 4. Do people who graduate from college usually earn more or less than people who go to college for one to three years but don t receive a bachelor s degree? 5. When people have more education, does the amount of yearly income they earn usually increase or decrease? 49

12 4 Why Do People Go to School? LESS 4 ACTIVITY 2 FAMILY CARDS 5 There are four members in the Washington family: Mom, Dad, Tim (14) and Seth (16). Mr. Washington is a college graduate. He is a technical writer who earns $2,955 per month. Ms. Washington also graduated from college. She is a mechanical engineer who earns $3,13 per month. There are three members in the Sooter family: Mom, Leann (5) and Will (12). Ms. Sooter attended the community college for two years and graduated as a dental hygienist. She earns $2,436 per month. There are four members of the Meszaros family: Mom, Grandma, Alex (1) and Hannah (8). Ms. Meszaros graduated from high school. She is a secretary and earns $1,975 per month. There are four members of the Watts family: Mom, Dad, Lakisha (6), Martin (8) and Deirdre (1). Mr. Watts graduated with a bachelor s degree in computer science. He is a systems analyst and earns $3,58 per month. Ms. Watts does not work outside the home. There are five members of the Walsh family: Mom, Dad, Mary (7), Kathy (9) and John (11). Mr. Walsh did not graduate from high school. He works evenings as a janitor at the high school and earns $1,2 per month. Ms. Walsh did not graduate from high school either. She works days as a nurse s aid and earns $1,15 per month. There are three members of the Phares family: Mom, Trina (15) and Travis (14). Ms. Phares attended trade school and is an optician who earns $2,35 per month.

13 Online LEI Lesson 4 LESS 4 ACTIVITY 3 BUDGET Washington Family Monthly Expenses V/F Item Expense House payment/rent $2,5 Car payment/public transportation (2 cars) 55 Car insurance ($1,68/12 months) 14 Gasoline 1 Childcare Health insurance (Mr. and Ms. Washington s employers pay their health insurance expenses.) Electricity, water, phone 25 Groceries 7 Movies and meals at restaurants 2 Vacation and gifts 25 Clothing 25 Answer the following questions. For questions 2-5, show your work. 1. In the first column, place a V if the item is a variable expense (one that may change from month to month) or an F if the item is a fixed expense (one that doesn t vary from month to month). 2. What are the Washingtons fixed expenses for the month? 3. What are the Washingtons variable expenses for the month? 4. What are the Washingtons total expenses for the month variable expenses plus fixed expenses? 5. The Washingtons income each month is $6,58 ($2,955 + $3,13). Is the Washington family s income greater than or less than the family s total expenses? 51

14 4 Why Do People Go to School? LESS 4 ACTIVITY 3 (CTINUED) BUDGET Sooter Family Monthly Expenses V/F Item Expense House payment/rent $85 Car payment/public transportation (1 car) 2 Car insurance ($84/12 months) 7 Gasoline 8 Childcare (after school) 3 Health insurance (Ms. Sooter s employer provides health insurance.) Electricity, water, phone 125 Groceries 55 Movies and meals at restaurants 25 Vacation and gifts 75 Clothing 1 Answer the following questions. For questions 2-5, show your work. 1. In the first column, place a V if the item is a variable expense (one that may change from month to month) or an F if the item is a fixed expense (one that doesn t vary from month to month). 2. What are the Sooters fixed expenses for the month? 3. What are the Sooters variable expenses for the month? 4. What are the Sooters total expenses for the month variable expenses plus fixed expenses? 5. The Sooters income each month is $2,436. Is the Sooter family s income greater than or less than the family s total expenses? 52

15 Online LEI Lesson 4 LESS 4 ACTIVITY 3 (CTINUED) BUDGET Meszaros Family Monthly Expenses V/F Item Expense House payment/rent $65 Car payment/public transportation (No car) 1 Car insurance Gasoline Childcare (After school: Grandma handles after-school care four days per week.) 1 Health insurance (Ms. Meszaros s employer does not provide health insurance.) 25 Electricity, water, phone 175 Groceries 5 Movies and meals at restaurants 25 Vacation and gifts 25 Clothing 1 Answer the following questions. For questions 2-5, show your work. 1. In the first column, place a V if the item is a variable expense (one that may change from month to month) or an F if the item is a fixed expense (one that doesn t vary from month to month). 2. What are the Meszaroses fixed expenses for the month? 3. What are the Meszaroses variable expenses for the month? 4. What are the Meszaroses total expenses for the month variable expenses plus fixed expenses? 5. The Meszaroses income each month is $1,975. Is the Meszaros family s income greater than or less than the family s total expenses? 53

16 4 Why Do People Go to School? LESS 4 ACTIVITY 3 (CTINUED) BUDGET Walsh Family Monthly Expenses V/F Item Expense House payment/rent $9 Car payment/public transportation (No car) 15 Car insurance Gasoline Childcare (One parent works days and the other evenings.) Health insurance (Mr. Walsh s employer pays part of his health insurance.) 175 Electricity, water, phone 175 Groceries 7 Movies and meals at restaurants 25 Vacation and gifts 5 Clothing 125 Answer the following questions. For questions 2-5, show your work. 1. In the first column, place a V if the item is a variable expense (one that may change from month to month) or an F if the item is a fixed expense (one that doesn t vary from month to month). 2. What are the Walshes fixed expenses for the month? 3. What are the Walshes variable expenses for the month? 4. What are the Walshes total expenses for the month variable expenses plus fixed expenses? 5. The Walshes income each month is $2,35. Is the Walsh family s income greater than or less than the family s total expenses? 54

17 Online LEI Lesson 4 LESS 4 ACTIVITY 3 (CTINUED) BUDGET Watts Family Monthly Expenses V/F Item Expense House payment/rent $1,25 Car payment/public transportation (1 car) 25 Car insurance ($1,2/12 months) 1 Gasoline 15 Childcare Health insurance (Mr. Watts employer provides health insurance.) Electricity, water, phone 225 Groceries 75 Movies and meals at restaurants 1 Vacation and gifts 75 Clothing 2 Answer the following questions. For questions 2-5, show your work. 1. In the first column, place a V if the item is a variable expense (one that may change from month to month) or an F if the item is a fixed expense (one that doesn t vary from month to month). 2. What are the Wattses fixed expenses for the month? 3. What are the Wattses variable expenses for the month? 4. What are the Wattses total expenses for the month variable expenses plus fixed expenses? 5. The Wattses income each month is $3,58. Is the Watts family s income greater than or less than the family s total expenses? 55

18 4 Why Do People Go to School? LESS 4 ACTIVITY 3 (CTINUED) BUDGET Phares Family Monthly Expenses V/F Item Expense House payment/rent $95 Car payment/public transportation (1 car) 225 Car insurance ($1,2/12 months) 1 Gasoline 125 Childcare Health insurance (Ms. Phares employer provides health insurance.) Electricity, water, phone 2 Groceries 45 Movies and meals at restaurants 8 Vacation and gifts 6 Clothing 1 Answer the following questions. For questions 2-5, show your work. 1. In the first column, place a V if the item is a variable expense (one that may change from month to month) or an F if the item is a fixed expense (one that doesn t vary from month to month). 2. What are the Phareses fixed expenses for the month? 3. What are the Phareses variable expenses for the month? 4. What are the Phareses total expenses for the month variable expenses plus fixed expenses? 5. The Phareses income each month is $3,58. Is the Phares family s income greater than or less than the family s total expenses? 56

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