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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Share the experience of William Palmer's pioneer father from the attachment.
Explain the idea that bartering didn't always work for everyone. Some people might need things but did not have the appropriate things to trade for it, or not have items of similar value. A directed role play using items that students have at school could be used for the bartering exercise. Concentrate on making trades using items of different values.
Describe the use of gold dust as a medium of exchange. Have students predict how much a pinch of sand will weigh on the scale. Have students get a pinch of sand from a pouch using dry and wet fingers. Record the variances of the weight on a chart to illustrate how unfair this practice was to the pioneers.
Discuss the practicality and problems of using paper currency backed by stored dust. Compare it to US currency under the gold standard. Discuss how the government maintains the value of money today. Ask students to suggest other ways the government could maintain the value of money.
Explain that coins were minted with a value slightly below face value due to necessary impurities. Describe both sides of the minted coins.
Have students design their own coins (two sides) and paper currency (two sides).
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