Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center
Social Studies

TITLE:  Free Enterprise: Business Magazine Project

AUTHOR:  BRIAN JOHNSON, Marana High School;
         Tucson, AZ


     The business magazine project that I incorporate
into my Free Enterprise (12th grade) class is an
attempt to combine many elements of methology into one
lesson.  The project is a group assignment that
utilizes some aspects of cooperative learning.  It has
the capability to allow students to include computer
graphics and, if the technology is available,
hypermedia.  It allows the creative student with poor
writing skills an opportunity to express their economic
knowledge and earn a grade that is not hampered by
their specific learning deficiency.  The students are
required to research current information, demonstrate
their understanding of the current economy and also
demonstrate their understanding of economic concepts
discussed in the course.
     I have been experimenting with the timeline for
the project.  I generally provide 2-3 days for library
research but most of the work for this project is done
outside of class. Students do interviews with subjects
to be written about in the magazine, watch films and
news programs to gather information, and cull through
newspapers and magazines for current data that can be
of use to their project.  Because the project is
normally due within 3 weeks of the original assignment,
student interaction, planning and cooperation becomes a
must.  Generally I allow students to chose their own
groups but I have been forced in some instances to make
group assignments.
     If time permits (I generally do this assignment
near the end of the semester so occasionally time is a
problem), I take a class period to discuss the various
projects with the classes as a whole.  While the
students are generally most impressed with the graphics
and artwork, they often see the abstract principles
that we have discussed in class appear in someone
else's work in a fashion that they hadn't thought of

                    FREE ENTERPRISE

     Your quarter project is to complete a business
magazine according to the following guidelines.  This
is a group project.  Each member of the group will get
an individual and a group grade.


     1993 economic conditions, economics of health care
and what the Clinton White House is trying to do to
deal with the problem, changes in price levels of
consumer goods, inflation, forecast of the economy with
President Clinton, and an interview with a local
business person, union official or any person of
substance who can give insight into how the current
economy is affecting their work.  A examination of an
example of entrepreneurship and how businesses (or a
specific business) operate in today's competitive
market should also be included.  Editorials, an
interview with those students who are leaders in the
stock market exercise, a "Newsweek"-type Perspectives
page, an examination of the North American Free Trade
Agreement and what it means to Arizona, an investment
column with investment tips, a movie review of an
economics- based movie (a review, not a rehash, of a
currently released film), a look at the social costs of
unemployment or the economic costs of crime-  all of
these would be worthwhile topics.  You are limited to
these, nor are you required to have all of them in your


     Examples of magazines and newspapers that can
provide useful information include:  Business Week,
Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Forbes, Changing Times, Wall
Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report (Sources may
not be older than {date is flexible depending on when
the assignment is given and due.)


     MANAGING EDITOR:  You organize the magazine and
decide how the various parts of the magazine should be
put together.  You proofread all articles and assign
the topics to the writers.  Look over shoulders, ask
questions, and bug people to do their jobs.  The editor
also needs to write the magazine's editorial.
     REPORTER:  The reporters are the backbone of any
publication.  Your articles should be factual and
interesting.  Your punctuation, grammar, and form must
be correct. Grammar will be taken into account in
grading. Each writer needs to complete 2 articles.
     ART EDITOR:  It is your task to choose,
manufacture, and design all the art work in the
publication, including the cover and advertising.  You
are responsible for all illustrations in the magazine,
including editorial cartoons, charts and graphs.
     BIOGRAPHY EDITOR:  Your job involves writing brief
sketches about people on your staff.  Bio's should be
around 150 words long.  Interview each staff member.
Ask about their interests, goals, hobbies, and
educational objectives.  What have they learned in the
Free Enterprise class?


     500 words should be a guideline.  Look at some of
the business publications in the library to get an
understanding of the style that should be used.  An
interview can be written in a question and answer
format.  No one in the group is finished until all
articles are finished. Help out your fellow writers and
editors.  Articles should be typed to give a more
impressive look to your magazine.  Hand written
articles look sloppy and detract from the finished
product.  Your art editor should be a person with a
great deal of creativity.  Use of computers to do the
artwork and the presentation improves the product.  A
person who has access to and the ability to creatively
use computer graphics can go a long way to improving
the group grade.


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