Friday, April 15, 2011

===It's April 15th, Let's Learn About Taxes===

April 15th is usually the deadline for filing income tax returns in the United States. This year, the deadline is April 18th. I usually have a few students in my classroom that are filing tax returns for the first time so this is a good time to give a short lesson on income taxes. If you would like to do the same, here are some resources to explore.

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The IRS website, Understanding Taxes, is a good source of lesson plans and individual learning materials about taxes and budgets. In the teacher section of the site you will find lesson plans like this one (opens as pdf) designed to teach students about services for which tax revenue is used.

PBS Kids has a great lesson plan for introducing young students to the concepts of budgets and taxes. The lesson starts with a focus on the students' personal budget before moving onto the basic concepts of government budget.

external image Aviary+visualeconomics-com+Picture+1.pngVisual Economics is a provider of articles and infographics about various economics-related topics. Yesterday, I came across an infographic they produced titled How Wealthy Countries Tax Their Citizens. The infographic depicts how the world's 29 wealthiest countries tax their citizens and how that money is spent. Some of the other infographics from Visual Economics are Timeline of the New Healthcare Bill, US Trade Bans Across the Globe, and A Detailed Look at TARP.

Videos - Gold and Other Investments

Turn on the television today and you're likely to see a commercial for "cash for gold" or a gold investment plan. What is causing this trend? Are those sound investments compared to the stock market or standard savings accounts? This morning the CBS Sunday Morning Show had a short segment about those questions and more. Watch the video below.

What about other investment strategies? How do they work? Common Craft has some answers in the videos below.

Saving Money (Compound Interest) in Plain English.

Stock Markets in Plain English.

Investing in Plain English.

Sources from Larry Ferlazzo
The Best Websites For Students Exploring Jobs and CareersThe Best Sites For Learning Economics & Practical Money Skills
The Best Websites To Teach & Learn Life SkillsThe Best Sites For Students To Create Budgets
The Best Sites To Learn About The U.S. Financial Crisis
The Best Sites To Learn About The Recession
The Best Places For Students To Write Their Resumes