The Big Picture, How the Economy Works

Component: The Economy: Basics/Key Issues | Grade Level: Grade 9-10

Learning Targets:

Targets for knowledge, skills, and behaviours below are possible targets. It is not expected that all will be covered by a single Teaching Unit. Teachers can select their learning targets using the Teaching Units provided (to the right), adaptations of these Teaching Units, or Units/Lesson Plans they develop on their own.


  • How, in general, an economy works to produce and distribute products and services
  • Different types of economic systems
  • Key features of Canada’s mixed economy
  • The business cycle – why it occurs and conditions at various points in the cycle
  • Statistics used to assess how an economy is performing – including trade performance and success
  • Factors that affect growth, inflation, employment, productivity, and trade success in the economy
  • Various ways in which economies are linked together
  • Issues that can arise from globalization
  • Current issues in Canada’s economy


  • Form opinions on the direction an economy may be headed, whether interest rates may be more likely to rise or fall in the near future, and when inflation may pose more of a risk
  • Generate ideas for improving personal productivity
  • Debate, discuss, and evaluate economic policies and actions proposed by the government and different political parties


  • Make informed consumer decisions based on an understanding of inflation and interest rates
  • Assess the policies of different political parties that could affect the economy and production of goods and services
  • Make informed political decisions when presented with economic policy options

Teaching Unit:

The Big Picture, How the Economy Works

By understanding the basics of economic systems, students will be better able to see the importance of their actions as active members of their society and responsible, financially capable individuals. They will be better able to interpret the economic world around them – and make better decisions.

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