The purpose of this lesson is for students to understand what GDP is, how it is calculated, and how it affects the lives of people in rich and poor nations in a historical context. A second purpose is for students to develop group working skills involving critical thinking, decision making, and assertiveness; attitudes, intuition
GDP: History, Finance, Mathematics
Juan Jacobs Sheblak, David Dillin, Alan Thomas
grade 10
16 Students
Most countries wealth are categorized according to the Gross Domestic Product. Focusing on the GDP the lesson will illustrate how the GDP is calculated, how it relates to everyday life and critically examine how the formula has been used in a historical context.
By using integrated and collaborative learning methodologies, students may meet the challenge of productive growth for a country through an increased understanding of economic problems.

Students will have the opportunity to think critically and should be able to make logical decisions.
Each group activity will follow the following process:
  • Each student formulates his or her answer.
  • Students share their answer within their.
  • Students listen carefully to each other’s answer.A short discussion on Collaboration and Conflict Management will be introduced.
  • Groups create a new answer that is superior to each member's initial formulation through the process of association, building
    on each other's thoughts, and synthesizing.
  • each group will also reflect on the group interaction with regards to decision-making, leadership, listening, responsibilities, Each students and groups product they produced
Team Communication
Team Development: Basic principles of group development and interpersonal dynamics

Interpersonal Style: Recognizing and capitalizing on differences in style and perspective.

Conflict Management: Principles of problem-based conflict management.

Participation: Understanding of and willingness to be fully involved in team efforts.

Active Listening: Conveying understanding and using listening skills to move a conversation forward.

Feedback: Giving and receiving constructive criticism.

Influencing others: Persuading others through well-reasoned use of facts and clear conveyance of ideas.

Sharing Information: Providing and reviewing information in a timely manner.
  • The teachers monitor to ensure that all students understand the assignment and are working skillfully.
  • Circulate among the groups to check that everyone is participating and that roles are being followed (only one person recording, one person probing, and one person encouraging.) Monitor to catch misunderstanding in the early stages and to help establish the rules.
Identification of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards addressed in the lesson.
Academic Objectives:
  • be able to calculate GDP,
  • be able analyse GDP formula;
  • understand money flow in the GDP

Teamwork objectives:
  • Active listening
  • Conflict management
  • Personal and group responsibility

  • GDP
  • Consumer Spending
  • Investment made by industry
  • Excess of Exports over Imports
  • Government Spending

Motor Skills:
  • Input data into a table for calculation

Thinking and Study Skills:
  • Students will calculate what data is exactly used in

Mathematical Skills:
  • Understanding the formula for calculating the GDP.
  • How data is used the verify the formula.

Co-operative learning skills:
  • Collaboration skills,
  • Mastery skills,
  • Understanding differences and working within those differences,
  • Importance of interdependence and the role it plays in attaining the mastery skills.
After each objective, explain the assessment you will use to determine whether students have achieved their goal.
Power of One
One Product:
One poster with two columns (one for rich country one for poor). In each collum:

  1. GDP calculation
  2. Affect on people's lives
  3. Historical significance

Group then presents their findings to the class followed by discussion.

Role Responsibility
  • One Analyst: Gathers groups ideas on which data to use in the calculation, organizes it and feeds that data to the writer and calculator person.
  • One Writer: writes the work neatly on poster paper.
  • One Calculator: Uses a calculator and the data to calculate the GDP
  • One Checker: Checks the work for accuracy
  • One Communicator: facilitates communication between groupmembers and presents the poster to the class
Analysis of Prior knowledge
Placement in lesson (beginning)

Students will be asked to get in their groups and look at pictures from three different countries namely the U.S, China and Kenya.

First Set of pictures:

People doing shopping in [1] the U.S in malls, [2] China malls and hawkers and [3] Kenya hawkers only. Each picture will have how much money consumers spend.


1. Each student is first write what they see in the pictures and the information provided at the bottom of each picture? Discuss within the group what you saw? (Perception)

2. Induction: What generalization can you make about each country’s GDP? Discuss within the group what generalization you made about each country’s GDP? (Induction)

3. Same/Different:What are the similarities and differences each country has in relation to consumer and government spending and their respective GDP? Discuss within the group what similarities and differences you interpreted? (Same/DIfferent)

4. Idea: Com up with ideas do you have that you think will make up a country’s GDP? (idea)
What historical elements might affect a country's GDP?
(Starter 2)
Analysis Starter: (timing During lesson)

Five groups of 3 (one has 4). One expenditure type (C, I, G, X, or M) is given to each group with the instruction: List as many examples of this type of expenditure as you can think of in five minutes, have the group recorder write them on a single sheet of poster paper. Then have each group’s reader read their list to the class.

Expenditure types:
C = Consumption (Household and personal consumption expenditures
I = Investment (Gross private domestic investment expenditures)
G = Government consumption (Government and gross investment expenditures)
X = Exports (Expenditures on goods and services exported)
M = Imports (Expenditures on goods and services imported)

(Starter 3)
Give each group two sets of data

Table 1: Expenditures for (Rich Nation)

Table 2: Expenditures for (Poor Nation)

Using the Expenditures Approach

By using the data in Table 1 and Table 2 calculate the GDP using the expenditures approach. As you can see, the table contains more data than is necessary so you have to analyze and decide which parts are required for the expenditures approach to calculating GDP.

The formula for the Expenditure Approach is :

GDP = C + G + I + (X - M)

Calculate the GDP for Table 1 and Table 2

Compare the causes, and the effects, of this GDP on the people of that country.

Write a paragraph describing the historical significance.
Understanding Money Flow in the GDP Components
For this exercise click on the MONEY FLOW CHART, and explore the various icons in the diagram (including the arrows!) for more information about the U.S. GDP. Answer the following questions:
1. What portion of the GDP is accounted for by Consumer Spending?
2. What percent of the GDP is "lost" or subtracted from the total due to the trade deficit?
3. How does the money "lost" due to the trade deficit find its way back to the U.S.?
Group Activity 4:

Each Group needs to assign a question to each member.
Once the questions are completed, share it with the group.
Each member is randomly chosen to answer a question of another member within the group.
Once completed I will compliment them on a job well done!!!!

Exercise 4: Understanding the Role of Personal Savings and Using U.S. Government Figures to Verify the Formula

Now, let's look at the role played by personal savings. The diagram MONEY FLOW CHART indicates that personal savings (what we normally call "investment") is actually a source of revenue for industry. This is because the money you put in the bank is loaned to businesses so that they can put it to work.
Click and download the following spreadsheet: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy05/sheets/b1.xls
external image clip_image002.jpg

Notice that the GDP calculation in the chart uses the same headings we gave above in the formula for the GDP

Group One needs to use periods 1986
Group Two needs to use period 1988
Group Three needs to use the period of 1989
Group Four needs to use the period of 1991
Group Five needs to use period of 1995
Group six needs to use period of 1999
Group seven needs to use period of 2000

Group Activity 5:
Move the data and eliminating unnecessary information, generate a chart like the one below simply by editing the government-supplied chart, and categorize according to the GDP formula.(Appraisal8)

Idea Question9
Can you think of other type of economic indicators?

Prediction questions10
How do you think your spending would affect the GDP?

Each team member needs to list three things the group has done well and one that needs improvement.
(Individual processing)
Each group will list or assess their groups interaction in relation to their ‘Team Contract.’

Students are required to journal about their experience within the group and can post it on the class blog.

Presentation of content:
Next I will start with my presentation on what is a GDP and the meaning of the formula.
I will write this down on the board under each economic activity. (note they are not asked to categorize).
Describe how you are going to group children for instruction and consider how you are going to move the children from one activity to the next.
The teacher will give a summary of the whole lesson as well as the process that was followed with regards to academic content.
The teacher will have discussion with regards to the collaborative process that each group engaged in and give a summary by highlighting the important aspects of collaboration/co-operation.
Action Research11:
Calculate you’re spending for the week, by diarizing each day what you bought, and calculate the tax you paid on each product.