Content Tagged: simulation

Interactive Budgeting Game: Budget Hero

Tagged: , , . | Category: Blog Games and Interactive Media

April 24, 2010

Budget Hero, an interactive game produced by American Public Media, allows users to allocate tax dollars to government programs and observe the long-term effects of this allocation on the budget deficit and the national debt.  From the website:  “Budget Hero provides an interactive experience involving policy options that have been extensively researched and vetted with non-partisan government and think tank experts to enable players to objectively evaluate candidates.”

Teachers could use this game to engage students in the process of creating the federal budget.  As with any website, students should do more than simply clicking through the pages and reading information.  Teachers should ask students to critically examine the choices they make concerning the budget, the outcomes of these choices, and whether or not they agree with the game’s conclusions.

The following questions could help guide students thinking:

  • What three values did you choose to guide your budget?  What led you to choose those values?  What other options were available?  What might lead you to choose different values upon which to base your budgeting decisions?
  • How did your budget look before you played any cards?  Did you begin with a deficit or a surplus?  Was your government big or small?  In what year will your budget bust?  What does this imply about the future of the government under your budget?
  • In which areas did you play cards?  Did this improve your deficit / surplus?  Which budgetary decisions were the easiest?  Which were the most difficult?  Why?  How did your final budget stack up?  What was your 10-year budget impact?  Do you agree with the conclusions of the website?

After creating their own budgets, students should work with classmates to try and develop a budget that the entire class can agree upon.  This activity should help students begin to appreciate the trade-offs required in balancing the budget.  They should understand that there are no easy decisions, and compromise will be necessary to help solve our fiscal crisis.

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National Budget Simulation

Tagged: , . | Category: Lesson Plans

In the National Budget Simulation lesson, students will play the role as the president’s trusted economic advisor and help the president keep his campaign promise of fiscal responsibility under the unexpected situations of military attack and a lingering recession.

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