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The IMF, Money,
International Trade and Cooperation

(Activities: Cornerstones of the IMF and Trading Around the World)

Themes: Trade, Cooperation, Money and the International Monetary Fund


  1. Students will enhance their comprehension of international trade and the role of the IMF.
  2. Students will raise their awareness about the benefits of cooperation.
  3. Students will be able to participate in a collaborative learning environment where the students teach and learn from each other.

Rationale: In a world that is increasingly interconnected by trade, technology and travel, it is important for people to promote and practice cooperation. The mission of the IMF is to work with countries from around the world to help foster economic growth.


    1. Visit lobby with flags - emphasize the international nature of the Fund.
    2. Brief introduction to the purpose of the IMF.
    3. Revisit students' understanding of "international" from pre-lesson:
      1. Can you recap the Five Ring activity?.
      2. What kinds of objects did you bring from home?
      3. the IMF has designed two fun activities for you today. One is called the "Cornerstones of the IMF" four ways to understand what the IMF is all about. The second activity is called "Trading Around the World" where you will get an opportunity to buy and sell goods from all over the world.

  2. CORNERSTONES OF THE IMF (40 minutes)
    Divide the class into 4 groups and assign a teacher to each group. Each group will get 20 minutes to work together to "solve" the activity. Afterwards, each group will present their findings to the class as a whole (each group will have 5 minutes).
  3. TRADING AROUND THE WORLD (20 minutes)
    Divide the class into 5 teams (each group will represent a continent as well as 2 products). The objective of the game is to buy and sell as many products as possible, using the least amount of currency. Each team will begin with an equivalent amount of currencies and are responsible for setting prices to selling and buying goods.

    After 10 minutes of trading, each group will explain their strategy in selling and buying the products. First report: what products did they export, what products did they import, how will they use the new imports, and how much profit or loss did the team make.




    Printable Asia

    Printable Rice

    Printable Silk

    Asian currency
    Printable Asian currency

    Printable Europe

    Printable Tractors

    Printable Wheat

    European currency
    Printable European currency

    Printable Africa

    Cocoa Beans
    Printable Cocoa Beans

    Printable Peanuts

    African currency
    Printable African currency

    North America
    Printable North America

    Printable Trucks

    Printable Cotton

    North American currency
    Printable North American currency

    South America
    Printable South America

    Printable Bananas

    Printable Lumber

    South American currency
    Printable South American currency

    Printable Australia

    Printable Wool

    Printable Metals

    Australian currency
    Printable Australian currency


    1. Emphasize how the group activities during "today's visit" are dependent on cooperation from classmates. Just as you have demonstrated cooperation during today's "visit" to IMF, the IMF practices cooperation as well. Here are three ways the IMF shows cooperation:

      1. Countries talk to each other and work together (no country should take economic measures that will hurt the economic well being of another country). Board of Directors (1 Managing Director, 3 Deputy Managing Directors, and 24 Executive Directors) meet 3 times a week to discuss economic issues affecting individual countries and their votes are cooperative with a majority rule (show picture of IMF Board Room). Most decisions are discussed until they reach a common agreement "consensus" and don't come to a vote.

      2. A small, multi-national team of economists visits each member country once a year to make suggestions of how to keep that economy healthy.

      3. IMF helps countries in economic need to develop their country's economic pro-gram. If the economy of a country suffers an economic problem, the country goes to the IMF to ask for help. The result of this cooperation is a program in which a country tells the IMF how they are going to cut their spending and strengthen their economy.

      In addition to learning about cooperation, what else did you learn today about the IMF?
      1. The IMF is an international organization.
      2. The IMF helps to stabilize currencies, which helps to stabilize economies, which ultimately leads to improved living standards of people around the world.

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