Arts & Humanities
Track the ups and downs of the stock market -- and the reasons for those fluctuations too.
stock market, Dow Jones Industrial Average, graph, investing, investment
Students hear about the stock markets ups and downs on TV and the radio, but what does that information really mean to them? Chances are it means very little. This lesson will expose students to some basic information about the stock market and involve them in following the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is an index that shows how 30 large, publicly owned companies based in the United States are trading.
Begin the lesson by sharing some basic information about the stock market.
This graph was created using the free online Create a Graph tool.
Setting the range on the graph:Students will have homework each day for the month-long period that you track the stock markets ups and downs. Their assignment will be to listen to TV news reports about the Dow Jones and read other news reports about the stock markets movement. Those reports often mention news stories that are thought to impact the stock market. For example, a dip in foreign markets might cause a negative effect or an upbeat report on unemployment or construction starts might impact the stock market positively. Students should keep their ears tuned to the news that is impacting the stock market and bring that information to class each day. Use additional space on your bulletin board to post news stories about the Dow Jones Industrial Average from local newspapers or online sources.
What is todays Dow Jones Industrial Average/DJIA? Set that number as the midpoint on the graph. We recommend setting a range 1500 points up and down from that midpoint. For example, if the DJIA is 11000 points today, then the graph will range from 9500 (-1500) to 12500 (+1500). Note: The graph illustration above only ranges 1000 points from the starting point. That might be enough of a range if you are tracking for 30 days. To be safe, a 1500-point range might be best.
This introduction to the stock market might get students interested in learning more. After you watch the market fluctuations for a month, you might give students $1,000 in play money with which they can purchase" stocks from one or two companies. You might limit students to these 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average (see the chart below) or they might track stocks from other indexes too. Students will track their stocks performance. Do their investments gain or lose value over the weeks ahead? Students might use the free online Create a Graph tool to create a graph to show their stock(s) performance.
* Note: Company list can change from time to time.
Company Name Stock Market Symbol Industry Type 3M MMM Conglomerate Alcoa AA Aluminum American Express AXP Consumer finance AT&T T Telecommunication Bank of America BAC Banking Boeing BA Aerospace and defense Caterpillar CAT Construction and mining equipment Chevron CVX Oil & gas Cisco Systems CSCO Computer networking Coca-Cola KO Beverages DuPont DD Chemical industry ExxonMobil XO Oil & gas General Electric GE Conglomerate Hewlett-Packard HPQ Technology The Home Depot HD Home improvement/retail Intel INTC Semiconductors IBM IBM Computers and technology Johnson & Johnson JNJ Pharmaceuticals JPMorgan Chase JPM Banking Kraft Foods KFT Food processing McDonald's MCD Fast food Merck MRK Pharmaceuticals Microsoft MSFT Software Pfizer PFE Pharmaceuticals Procter & Gamble PG Consumer goods Travelers TRV Insurance United Technologies Corporation UTX Conglomerate Verizon Communications VZ Telecommunication Wal-Mart WMT Retail Walt Disney DIS Broadcasting and entertainment
At the end of a 30-day period of tracking the Dow Jones Industrial Average, have students write a paragraph or brief essay in which they share how the market performed and some of the different news stories that impacted its performance.
Lesson Plan Source
LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
NL-ENG.K-12.7 Evaluating Data
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills
MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-NUM.3-5.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-NUM.6-8.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-NUM.9-12.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-REP.PK-12.1 Create and Use Representations to Organize, Record, and Communicate Mathematical Ideas
NM-REP.PK-12.3 Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena
SOCIAL SCIENCES: Economics
GRADES K - 4
GRADES 5 - 8
NSS-EC.5-8.6 Gain from Trade
NSS-EC.5-8.10 Market Institutions
NSS-EC.5-8.13 Income and Earning
NSS-EC.5-8.16 Government in the Economy
GRADES 9 - 12
NSS-EC.9-12.6 Gain from Trade
NSS-EC.9-12.10 Market Institutions
NSS-EC.9-12.13 Income and Earning
NSS-EC.9-12.16 Government in the Economy
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