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Monopoly's Might
Source: Buck Institute of Education | Type: lesson

This unit is designed to teach students about entrepreneurship and the effects of competition and monopoly on price, output, and profit. Prior to undertaking this problem, students should be familiar with the concepts learned in Running in Place and The Invisible Hand. Students analyze data on sales, revenue, costs and profits to help them convince a venture capitalist to invest in their SBE,then to fund research and development for a much-needed pesticide. Students must write a position paper and debate the pros and cons of competition and monopolies in a free market economy. Put in your shopping basket and check out for the free download. This is a lesson of 56 pages including everything needed.




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Good, but not great lesson    June 17, 2009
By: Lee, M
Monopoly's Might is a problems-based learning lesson that asks students to assume the role of a student-based enterprise. They pretend they own an avocado business and see that business in both competitive and monopolistic markets. This lesson is not as strong as President's Dilemma or Food Court.

This lesson does allow students to experience the effects of a monopoly on the marketplace, but it is somewhat contrived.

The student activities in this unit are very good and the activities (a 30 second elevator speech) are things that teach students skills they can use in other classes - sorting information and only presenting the most relevant-.

Students don't relate as much to the avocado business as some of the other situations in BIE lessons. Also, time is spent explaining what Venture Capitalist are and it is difficult for students to understand why they would invest in a high school's business. The time spent explaining this detracts from the time students should be spending on the problem.

The data can, at times, be confusing for students and requires more teacher interventions than it should.

Some of the concepts discussed in this lesson including supply and demand, might be better handled through other ways besides PBL.

This is a good lesson to show how monopolies affect the market, but there might be better ways to do so. If you have not done a PBL lesson, I wouldn't recommend starting with this one (try food court or president's dilemma). That is not to say this is a bad lesson, it is not., it just requires more time convincing students to assume their role (and explaining what that role is) than other BIE lessons.