Lesson Plan #4

Title of Lesson: Taxes

Subject Area: Economics

Grade Level: 4th grade

Students will be able to gather information on their assigned topic, become "experts" in it, and share their knowledge with other people in their group.

Materials Needed:
Library, dictionaries, Internet, books, and paper

1. Students will be asked to write down the different types of taxes they are familiar with such as personal income tax, sales tax, excise tax, property tax, social security tax, estate and gift tax, etc.Teacher will ask for volunteers to share with the class. He/she will write them on the board.
Teacher will get the students thinking about tax by asking the following questions: Why do we have taxes? What benefits do we have by paying taxes? List the negative affects we have by paying taxes. Who decides what taxes and how much we have to pay?
2. Arrange the students into six groups (jigsaw) by counting off 1-6. All of the ones will be asked to find material and information with regards to personal income tax. The second group will find information about sales tax. Third group is assigned social security tax, fourth group is property tax, fifth group is estate and gift taxes and last group will find information about excise taxes. They will have at least 20 minutes to become familiar with their assigned topic (allow more time for the younger children) by going to the library, looking in a dictionary, Internet, whatever materials they can find. (A great source and good book for students 3-5 is We Want Jobs by Robert J. Norrell.)
Brief explanation of what the descriptions are:
Personal income tax- The individual who earns the income must pay tax on that income.
Sales tax The amount of sales and taxes we pay is based on our purchase of certain goods and services. Applies to most products we buy.
Social security tax- Provides disability and retirement benefits for most working people. The changes in the tax rate and in the amount of income taxes have made social security taxes a growing burden on working families.
Property tax- Is a tax on real estate such as property, home, or some other building. Property tax are an important source of revenue for the local government.
Estate and gift taxes- Are a tax on wealth passed on from one person to another. Estate taxes cover wealth that changes hands at the death of the wealth holder. Gift taxes cover transfers of wealth from one living person to another.
Excise taxes- Applies only to specific goods such as tires, gasoline, cigarettes, liquor, and fur. A lot of excise taxes illustrate the benefit principle of taxation. One example is on gasoline, the people who buy the most gasoline use the roads the most. The tax money is used to repair the highways.
3. After researching, students will be put into "expert" groups, all the ones go together, two's, etc. They each share the information they have with each other. Students should allow each student approximately 2-3 minutes to share the materials they found to help others become more knowledgeable. After everyone in the group has had a chance to discuss their topic and have become "experts" in their topic then the teacher will have them return to their original group of six.
4. The students will have four minutes each to let the rest of their members become "experts" in their field too. Everyone wants to listen, pay attention, and make sure their members understand because students will be asked questions later and they will be responsible for their group and whether or not their group got credit for the answer.
5. Teacher will have the students assign each of their members a number (1-6.) Teacher will ask a question and then the group will have one minute to come up with an answer. Everyone in the group needs to know the correct response. He/she will roll a dice and get (4) so all the fours will be required to stand up and represent their group with an answer. The teacher will have everyone standing briefly write their answer on a scratch sheet of paper and then share it with the class.Teacher will give them one point if it is correct.
6. Teacher will write the groups on the board and at the end of the game whoever has the most points will be the winner.
Possible questions:
* Which tax is applied to luxury items? (poor cannot afford so they do not have to pay) Excise taxes
*Those who save additional money from this tax, for the future will enjoy a more secure and comfortable life when they get older. Social security tax
*If your aunt dies and leaves you her riches you would be charged what kind of a tax? Estate Taxes.
*What is the most amount of money you can receive from your family before being charged a tax? You will be charged a tax if you receive a gift of more than 10,000.
*Taxes are necessary for what reasons? To raise the money needed for government activities. Tax money pays people who work at each level of government.
*What are some products you buy that would be charged a personal income tax? Food, books, clothes, etc.
*How is property tax administered?
The value of property is assessed and then a certain percentage of the assessed value of the property must be paid.
7. After you have asked the various questions the students should have a greater knowledge of taxes and the different types of taxes and the reasons we have to pay taxes. 8. End the lesson and unit with a brief summary of all the things we have learned including: How the economy affects you? What the definition of economics is? What supply and demand mean? The different kinds of taxes used in the government, and any other questions or comments students or the teacher might want to contribute.

Teacher will be able to assess their knowledge from taxes when they play the jigsaw game.