High School Lesson Plans for Business Classes

Money Matters:
The Importance of Global Cooperation

This high school curriculum seeks to actively involve students in exploring and constructing an informed understanding of global cooperation by studying the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The activities are designed to include a visit — or virtual visit — to the IMF Center's exhibition, Money Matters: The Importance of Global Cooperation. They focus on the history, mission, structure and function of the IMF, as well as its past and continuing contribution to the economic stability of nations and the living standards of individuals.

Note to the teacher: The curriculum includes activities suitable for high school students enrolled in world and American history, geography, economics, and business courses. The curriculum begins with general activities, which can stand alone as an introduction to the IMF and/or prepare students for a visit to the IMF Center. (See II below.) These are followed by activities specific to students' courses of study. (See III, IV, and V below.) Teachers may choose from among the activities to satisfy classroom and field-trip needs and time constraints. Objectives and procedures are easily adaptable to the skill and knowledge level of students. Sections I and VI use concept maps as assessment tools to measure students' entry knowledge before starting the curriculum and final understandings following its conclusion.

Students will be able to:

  1. Explain the role of the IMF as a facilitator of global cooperation:
    • How the IMF functions as a cooperative international organization.
    • How the IMF facilitates international trade.
    • How the IMF strengthens its members' economies.
  2. Discuss the adaptations over time made by the IMF.
  3. Describe the interplay among sociocultural, political, and economic forces, and the impact of these forces on nations and individuals.
  4. Identify the essential mechanisms for productive cooperation when working with others, (e.g., negotiating, compromising, seeking consensus, and managing conflicts).


  1. Initial Assessment: Concept Map
    Note to the teacher: The curriculum begins with a measure of students' entry knowledge, using concept maps as the assessment tool. Concept maps provide a quick read of students' prior knowledge, e.g., misconceptions, familiarity with relevant vocabulary. They also serve to bring to the foreground both content and organization of current knowledge and attitudes, readying the student for what is to come.

    1. With the class as a whole, the teacher models the drawing of a concept map of the term "money" by writing it on the blackboard and asking, "What does this term mean?" As students respond, they and the teacher begin to map and make connections among related concepts.

    2. Students draw individual concept maps of the term "International Monetary Fund" or "IMF." After general discussion, the teacher collects the signed maps to be used as an assessment measure by teachers and students on completion of the curriculum.

  2. Pre-Visit Activities: General Introduction
    Note to the teacher: The first three activities provide students with the following: a general introduction to the IMF; practice in the processes of "reading" images; experience conducting web-based research. These activities are designed to increase both teacher and student awareness of competency and gaps in knowledge. Teachers may decide the number of class periods required for these activities. Students should maintain a folder of materials to be drawn on throughout the three-part curriculum. Following completion of this section, the lesson plans are tailored to specific courses.

    Teacher Materials: Selected images from the exhibit, including the IMF logo, "Who's Got the Gold?", "Anybody Have Any Suggestions?", "I Don't Even Understand the Old System", "During Transition to a Market Economy, Fasten Seat Belts"; IMF video, Millennium: Out of the Ashes.
    IMF logo Who's Got the Gold? Anybody Have Any Suggestions?

    Printable IMF logo

    Printable "Who's Got the Gold?"


    Printable "Anybody Have Any Suggestions?"


    I Don't Even Understand the Old System During Transition to a Market Economy, Fasten Seat Belts


    Printable "I Don't Even Understand the Old System"


    Printable "During Transition to a Market Economy, Fasten Seat Belts"



    Student Materials: Appendix A: Pre-Visit Materials, including 1. Executive Board Room; 2. Glossary of Terms; and 3. "Researching the IMF" Worksheet. World Map

    1. Advance Organizer
      1. The teacher shows an image of the IMF logo with the olive branch, followed by a brainstorming discussion of the meaning of the symbols.

      2. The teacher shows exhibition images and leads a discussion of students' understanding or misunderstanding of the IMF. (Examples of possible responses/misconceptions-oversees the free exchange of currencies to its member nations, loans money, creates jobs, rebuilds cities.)

    2. Introduction to the IMF
      1. The teacher prepares students for viewing the "Millennium: Out of the Ashes" portion of the Millennium video by asking them to think about the following:
        • What are the goals of the IMF?
        • How is the organization structured to achieve its goals?

      2. The teacher shows this video "Millennium: Out of the Ashes" and facilitates a discussion during and/or following the video using the suggested questions below:
        • What are the purpose and ultimate goals of the IMF? How does the IMF logo represent the ultimate goals?
        • When was it founded? What is significant about the date?
        • What are the major differences between the IMF and the World Bank?
        • How many members sit on the IMF Executive Board? How does the Board make decisions?
        • Where do Executive Board members get information on which to base their decisions?
        • What do you know now about the IMF that you didn't know before?

      3. The teacher distributes and previews Appendix A 1,2, and 3. Students use the IMF web site and search additional Internet sites to complete research on the mission, structure, and work of the IMF.

        Note to the teacher: Include IMF Websites (www.imf.org): "What is the IMF?" "IMF At A Glance," and/or "Chronology," and sites addressing current IMF activities and issues. See latest speech of the Managing Director (www.imf.org/cgi-shl/create_x.pl?mds). In Appendix A 4 ("Researching the IMF"), the teacher may select from the list of questions or adapt them as appropriate.

    3. Discussion of findings
      The students report on the outcome of their web-based research.

  3. Pre-Visit Activities: Business Curriculum
    Note to the teacher: The following curriculum activities, (III A and B) complete the preparation for the visit to the IMF Center. The teacher previews processes and materials to be used by students at the Center, addresses the logistics for the visit, and introduces the overarching theme: "Countries and the IMF: International partnerships in the transition to a free market economy." Students will be able to:

    • "read" images;
    • add new meaning to terminology introduced in the previous assignment
    • explain the give and take of an IMF/member nation partnership.

    Exhibit Area 6 Cartoon-"During transition to market economy, fasten seat belt"
    Printable Exhibit Area 6 Cartoon-"During transition to market economy, fasten seat belt"


    Exhibit Area 3 Photograph -"Five cigarettes for an egg"
    Printable Exhibit Area 3 Photograph -"Five cigarettes for an egg"


    Student Materials: Appendix A4: Image Analysis Worksheet (Exhibit Area 6 Cartoon-"During transition to market economy, fasten seat belt"); (Exhibit Area 3 Photograph -"Five cigarettes for an egg"); Appendix A5: Chart - Changing to a Free Market Economy; Appendix B: "At the IMF Center": Exhibit Worksheet.

    1. Individually or in pairs, students use the Image Analysis Worksheet (Appendix A 4) to "read" one photograph and one political cartoon relating to a country's transition to a market economy and an international monetary system.

    2. The teacher facilitates a class discussion of the process of "reading" images as a means of interpreting content.

    3. The teacher divides the class into 5 or 6 groups (3-5 students) for conducting research on specific countries experiencing problems in changing to a market economy. (The exhibit includes information on the following: Brazil; Korea; Mexico; Poland; African countries.) Groups choose the country they will research. The teacher previews Chart (Appendix A5) and "At the "At the IMF Center" Exhibit Worksheet (Appendix B.) Students initiate country research prior to visiting the IMF Center. Recording information on Chart 1, students document the following aspects of an IMF/member nation partnership:
      • What problems existed in this country?
      • What assistance did the country seek?
      • What risks did the country take?
      • Who made compromises?
      • What type(s) of assistance was (were) received?
      • What were the results?

      (Note to Teachers: Suggested resources for this activity include: http://www.imf.org (country page); http://odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook; http://www.internationalist.com.

  4. Visit to the IMF Center
    Note to the teacher: The visit to the Center provides direct experience for learning about the IMF and its role in fostering global cooperation. The activities continue to build understanding of the overarching theme-"Countries and the IMF: International partnerships in the transition to a free market economy."

    An IMF representative is on hand to provide information and answer questions. The visit is organized to minimize crowding by assigning groups to two parts of the IMF Center—exhibit areas and mini-theater. The visit takes approximately 1½ hours. Guided by "At the IMF Center" Exhibit Worksheet (Appendix B), students will be able to:
    • "read" images;
    • broaden points of view, getting perspectives of both the IMF and member nations;
    • hypothesize on the role of international companies in the transition.

    Student Materials: Folder containing Appendices A and B, notepaper, pencils.

    1. Introduction
      An IMF representative welcomes and orients students to the Center, and remains as a consultant to students during the visit.

    2. IMF Center Assignments:
      Students use materials in Appendices A5 (Chart) and B ("At the IMF": Exhibit Worksheet) to guide their activities. Half of the students explore the exhibit "Money Matters: The Importance of Global Cooperation," while half visits the mini-theatre and views case study videos about African countries and Korea. After 45 minutes, students switch activities.

  5. Post-Visit Activities
    Note to the teacher: These activities synthesize students' understanding of the IMF's role as a facilitator of global cooperation and the role of international companies investing in developing countries. Students will be able to:
    • Explain how IMF assistance contributes to a developing country's transition to a free market economy;
    • Describe the process used by the IMF in providing assistance to a member nation;
    • Hypothesize areas of research necessary for assessing an investment by the IMF or a company in a developing country;
    • Identify the risks and benefits from the country's perspective
    • Identify the risks and benefits from a business's perspective
    • Discuss a multinational business' social responsibility

    Student Materials: Appendices A and B, folders of cumulative materials, including assignments.

    1. Jigsaw:
      1. Students regroup in the classroom, so that every country is represented in each new group. Using the Chart (Appendix A 5), students compare their findings and identify similarities and differences among the countries. Using the format of the Chart, students record findings on a transparency to be shared with the class.

      2. Continuing in their small groups, students brainstorm the research required by the IMF prior to assisting a member nation.

    2. Final Class Discussion
      Note to the teacher: This conversation uses the overarching theme, "Countries and the IMF: International partnerships in the transition to a free market economy" to integrate students' new understanding of global cooperation. They may identify such research areas as: natural resources; economic system; IMF relationship; monetary unit; legal system; Gross National Product (GNP); Gross Domestic Product (GDP); infrastructure; competitive advantage; per capita income; currency value compared to US dollar. The teacher facilitates a brainstorming session. Students take the perspective of a CEO of an international company. They identify the steps and information required for sound investment decisions in a developing country. They produce a list of research criteria.

    3. Final Assignment
      Note to the teacher: The final assignment provides a record of the students' new understanding of the IMF's role in fostering global cooperation and the role of international companies investing in developing countries. The teacher may specify content and length of the essay.
      1. The teacher provides a scenario emphasizing the human needs approach to economic development:
        "You are the CEO of a multinational company interested in investing in a developing country. Assess the various opportunities and risks of doing business in the country you have studied."
      2. Using the list of research criteria generated in the final class discussion above, students research and prepare a report to a board of directors in response to the scenario assignment.

  6. Final Assessment: Concept Map
    Note to the teacher: The curriculum ends with a measure of the students' new understanding. By comparing the initial and final concept maps, both the teacher and the student are able to assess the growth of knowledge.

    Student Materials: Initial concept map.

    The teacher distributes the students' initial concept maps. The students draw a final concept map, with "IMF" at the Center.

Money Matters Curriculum Table of Contents

Money Matters