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Currency Wars

miscellaneous currency
Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Cameron Snyder
Topic: 
Currency Manipulation
Teaching Area: 
World History
Grade Level: 
9
Teaching Level: 
Secondary Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

The lesson plan pairs with the Origins article written by Steven Bryan, who details how central banks throughout the world have attempted to depreciate their currencies to gain a “competitive advantage” in global markets. After reading the Origins article for homework, students will begin class by interacting with specific quotations from the article. Students will be introduced to the major vocabulary from the article, and to the lesson’s compelling question, “Currency Wars: Why should we appreciate depreciation?” Following this introduction, students will participate in a Mini-Lecture discussing the reasons why countries manipulate their currencies and how the United States fits into the picture. After, students will use the article and the understanding from the Mini-Lecture to analyze primary source images in a Source Pass Activity. Students will examine the images in the context of currency manipulation between the United States and China. Students will discuss how the United States and China drive much of the global economy and their actions affect other countries’ economic policies. Students will use the sources to support their understanding of currency manipulation.

Instruction Strategies:

  • Whole Class Prior Knowledge Review
  • Mini-Lecture and Guiding Notes
  • Small Group Source Pass Activity
  • Whole Class Discussion
  • Individual Exit Ticket

Lesson Materials:

Key Words: 
Currency War, Devaluation, Monetary Policy