Explore these great classroom tools from our current issue, The New Economy, and engaging activities from United for a Fair Economy to help your students understand the roots of the current crisis.
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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Building a Just and Sustainable World    Summer 2009
Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.” —Margaret Bonnano

door opening button on a metro car
Dear Educators,

I hope you’re in a place to relax and rejuvenate after a successful school year. With this economy, perhaps you too will be taking a “stay-cation,” sticking close to home.

How can you help your students make sense of today’s economy? You’ll find some great classroom tools from our current issue, The New Economy. I also recommend the engaging activities offered by United for a Fair Economy to help your students understand the roots of the current crisis and the economic divide.

For added inspiration, check out Paul Hawken’s commencement address and an interview with author Sherman Alexie. They’re perfect for your classroom or a summer day at home.

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! MagazineHappy Summer,
Jing's signature
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Is your free teacher subscription ending? Choose a 3-year renewal and we'll send you a FREE copy of David Korten's new book on a more just economy.

Your Stories

Thomas Murphy
Anthro 101: How to Change the World
Professor Tom Murphy wanted his students to reconnect with nature. Now, they work beside farmers, fishermen, wastewater technicians, environmental groups, and Native American leaders through an award-winning service learning program. Read Tom’s story.

MORE OF YOUR STORIES: Hands-on Sustainability Curriculum. Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom. Discovering the Beauty of Teenagers. Local food in schools.

SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.

YES! Recommends

United for a Fair Economy logoMartin Luther King Jr once said, “We must rapidly begin the shift from a 'thing-oriented' society to a 'person-oriented' society.” United for a Fair Economy (UFE) takes his words to heart in developing education resources.

Here are five lesson plans from UFE’s Teaching Economics As If People Mattered curriculum, complete with animated presentations created by Reach and Teach. The popular Ten Chairs lesson dramatizes the divide in wealth distribution in the U.S. today.

UFE’s Bankers, Brokers, Bubbles, and Bailout workshop materials, produced in May 2009, give your students a candid assessment of the current economic crisis, and identify strategies for an economic recovery that is sustainable and just. It’s the kind of frank, real-life discussion your students need, to make sense of this chaos.

YES! Classroom Tools

How do Banks Create Money, YES! Magazine graphic
Where Does Your Money Come From?
Most of America’s money is never printed. It is created by banks loaning it into existence. Your students will easily understand this cartoon that captures how banks make money from thin air.

:: VIEW SLIDESHOW: COMMON GOOD FINANCE
A great introduction to how money works now and how it could work better, with the cast from Gilligan's Island.

Money Man graphic
Just the Facts
Do your students need a college degree? And can they afford it? Your students will discover answers and learn about other economic trends with these colorful, clever charts.

31 Ways to Jump Start Your Economy, YES! Poster
31 Ways to Boost Your Local Economy
Explore the many ways that you and your students can strengthen your community’s economy by using less and sharing more.
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:: GET THE POSTER

Local multiplier effect, YES! graphic
The Local Multiplier Effect
Do your students know that for every $1 spent at a corporate chain only 15 cents is reinvested locally? But if they buy local, their community gets back 45 cents? :: SHOW THEM OUR POSTER
Connect and Engage
Here are lessons plans and curriculum to help your students better understand the cause and effects of the current housing upheaval, the concepts of work (what kind of work is paid?) and workplace, and definitions of wealth.

Morningside Center logo
Boom, Bust, and Bailout lesson plans
Teachable Moment puts a human face on foreclosure in its lesson plans on the housing crisis (grades 9-12). “Work, Workers, and the U.S. Labor Movement” is an 8-lesson curriculum that takes middle school students from examining work and labor struggles to world issues like globalization and sweatshops.

Peace Corps logo
What is Real Wealth?
How can those with few “riches” also be rich? This Peace Corps lesson plan has your students compare and contrast definitions of wealth in the United States and Mali, and explore how music enriches our lives. For middle and high school.

To the Class of 2009

Paul Hawken
On May 3 at the University of Portland’s Class of 2009 Commencement, Paul Hawken, entrepreneur, environmental activist, and founder of Wiser Earth, delivered the commencement address that everyone wishes was delivered at their graduation ceremony: a speech that whacks you on the head, inspires you to do better, and touches your heart.


You Are Brilliant and the Earth is Hiring

Night sky with stars, photo by Taichi Kaminogoya

Photo by Taichi Kaminogoya


"There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn't bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring.

The earth couldn’t afford to send recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint.

And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done." Read on…

—Paul Hawken

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INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
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Artist Robert Shetterly's beautiful book.
POSTERS: Hang 'em up, share the inspiration.
YES! Web Picks
Sherman Alexie Conversation with Sherman Alexie
Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian and author Sherman Alexie talks about the inspiration behind his award-winning novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

still from The Good Life Parable
More Than Money: The Good Life Parable
On a small island, as an MBA graduate tries to teach a fisherman about business, the fisherman teaches him about life.

Don't Eat the Marshmallow Yet!
Marshmallow experiment Author Joachim de Posada shares his experiment on delayed gratification and how it can predict future success. Watch preschoolers try to resist eating marshmallows.

YES! in Spanish
Si logo - YES in Spanish
Cultivando energía en un desierto alimentario
Will Allen, founder of Growing PowerWill Allen believes that healthy food is the foundation of social justice. Share with your students how the founder of Milwaukee’s Growing Power is carrying out his mission to “create a just world, one food-secure community at a time.”

:: Read article in English.
Visual Learning
Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia. Summer Harvest
Use this photo to ask your students what they notice and are wondering. Then share the facts behind the image to connect to greater understanding and discovery.

DOWNLOAD :: Visual Learning Lesson Plan.
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