It's Your Future!
Procedures for Teachers is divided into two sections:
- Prep — Preparing for the lesson
- Steps — Conducting the lesson
- WIDE ANGLE "Pickles, Inc."
In "Pickles, Inc.," Palestinian widows start their own pickling business in an attempt to achieve financial independence, and then struggle with business and financial management. Eight widows decide to challenge convention by starting up a business venture — the Azka Pickle Cooperative — seeking financial independence for themselves and their children. They establish a tiny factory for pickling vegetables and develop a market for their product in local stores. With little formal education or work experience outside the home, the women face numerous hurdles as the business struggles to expand to stores throughout Israel.
- Pickles, Inc. 1 (2:20)
This segment explains why the widows make pickles (lack of other options) and provides a description of the business. There are also comments about the women's education level. It also foreshadows the challenges the women will face in running their company.
- Pickles, Inc. 2 (1:30)
This segment shows one widow who is the director and the driver. She mentions that she only went to school for seven-and-a-half years, so it shows what types of job options were available to her given her level of schooling. The widow has more experience with household activities, and owns a car, and those realities inform her career options. This segment also shows the way the factory works, and what the women do in their six-hour workday.
- Pickles, Inc. 3 (:31)
This segment shows the widows talking about earning money, and what they would like to do with the money. They also discuss possibly starting another business.
- Pickles, Inc. 4 (1:25)
At this point, the pickle business has not found a partner. The business checking account is constantly overdrawn. The women have expanded their line of credit to $4000, but have over $20,000 in debt. They are working without wages, and it looks like the company might fail.
- Web sites:
Career and Education:
Mortgage and Home Ownership:
Teachers will need the following supplies:
Students will need the following supplies:
- Computer with connection to a screen or television on which to project the Web-based video clips, or computer stations where students can watch the clips
- Board and/or chart paper
- "Mortgage Terms" Teacher Organizer
- "Budget Terms" Teacher Organizer
- Computers with Internet access (for individuals or groups)
- Notebook or journal
- "Mortgage Options" Student Organizer
- "Monthly Budget" Student Organizer
- PREP FOR TEACHERS:
- Bookmark the Web sites used in the lesson on each computer in your classroom, or upload all links to an online bookmarking utility such as www.portaportal.com.
- Preview all of the video clips and Web sites used in the lesson to make certain that they are appropriate for your students, currently available, and accessible from your classroom.
- Download the video clips used in this lesson onto your hard drive, or prepare to stream the clips from your classroom.
- Print out the "Mortgage Terms" and "Budget Terms" Teacher Organizers, to copy the terms and definitions on the board.
- Print out the "Mortgage Options" and "Monthly Budget" Student Organizers and make enough copies so that each student has one copy of each organizer.
- When using media, provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after viewing of video segments, Web sites, or other multimedia elements.
Day 1: Introduction of Lesson
Day 2: Buying a Home
- Start the class by asking students to share with the class what kind of job they would like to have when they grow up. Write the general categories of the jobs the students mention on the board.
- Next, ask students if they know what types of qualifications are necessary for those jobs, and how well they pay. Specifically, ask students to identify which jobs they think need a high school education and which jobs need both a high school and a college education.
- Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to think about how much education the women in the video have, and what kinds of options they have for employment. Play the "Pickles, Inc. 1" segment for the class.
- After the segment, discuss why the women in the video have limited options for employment, including that many of them did not finish high school.
- Next, ask the students to form smaller groups based on what kind of job they would like to have when they are older.
- Then, ask the students to research on-line, using the Internet resources provided in this lesson, the qualifications and potential income of those jobs. For job qualifications, the students can search the "Yahoo Hot Jobs Job Search" page and read the job descriptions by the job category they are interested in. For potential income of certain jobs, the students can search the "Yahoo Hot Jobs Salary" page.
- For a basic, easy-to-understand chart on the variation in income based on education, the students can also look at "The Value of a College Education" page.
- When students are finished with their research, they should come back together as a class. Each group appoints a spokesperson to discuss what they have learned about different types of jobs, qualifications, and salaries. Write this information in a grid on the board, with columns of "Job Type," "Education Level" and "Potential Salary."
- Ask the class if they can see any relationship between the level of education, salary, and types of jobs that one can have.
- Analyzing the information on the board, ask students if they can see how many jobs require some education, and how having a high school and college education increases a person's career options.
- Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to think about the career-education-income analysis they have just completed. Play the "Pickles, Inc. 2" segment for the class. Discuss the widows' education level and experience, and how that might impact the types of jobs they can do in the factory.
Day 3: Creating a Budget
- Review the previous day's lesson by having a short discussion about different career and income options that can be impacted by education level.
- Introduce the next lesson by asking students if they would like to own a house one day. If so, ask the students if they know how much a house currently costs. Write some of the guesses on the board.
- Explain to the students that the price of a house depends on many things including its size, what shape it's in, and where it's located. Also tell the students that the average price of a house in the U.S. was around $200,000 at the end of 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors.
- Next, ask students how they might go about getting together the money to buy a home. Write student's brainstorming answers on the board, and discuss some of the options. Explain to students that one of the most common, affordable methods of financing a new-home purchase is called a "mortgage."
- Next, ask students if they know what a "mortgage" is. Using the "Mortgage Terms" Teacher Organizer, write the mortgage-related terms and definitions on the board. Explain to the class what each of the terms mean.
- Ask the students if they know how mortgages work. Explain that the buyer saves a down payment for a house, which is usually about 20% of the purchase price, and then borrows money from a bank that can be paid back over 30 years. Explain that a payment must be made each month to pay back the principal and the interest on the mortgage loan.
- Hand out the "Mortgage Options" Student Organizer. Explain to students that the monthly loan payment of the mortgage will vary by many factors, including the amount of the loan. To see how the monthly loan payment can vary by the loan amount, ask the students to use the Bank Rates Mortgage Calculator page to figure out monthly mortgage payments based on the terms of the mortgages in the Student Organizer. They should input the loan term and interest rate that is in the "Mortgage Options" student organizer, but vary on their own the amount of the loan amount.
- Write on the board some of the loan amounts and resulting monthly loan payments from the mortgage calculator so students can get a sense of the range of costs for different-priced homes given different interest rates.
- Students can also go to the Citi Financial Education Information Portal and click on "Home Ownership" for more information on buying a home.
- Start the class with a review of the discussion of the previous day, focusing on the concepts of a mortgage loan, and the costs of buying and owning a home.
- Next, explain that today the class will be focusing on putting together a personal budget to see the price of a house they might be able to afford. Explain that how much income, or salary, you make can define how much money you can afford to spend on other things, including a home.
- Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to think about what sorts of expenses a job income can be used for. Play the "Pickles, Inc. 3" segment for the class.
- Ask the students to discuss the sorts of things the widow in the segment would like to buy, and if they think her salary from the pickle factory will be enough for her to afford those things.
- Next, draw the students' attention back to the subject of a budget. Using the "Budget Terms" Teacher Organizer, write the budget terms and definitions on the board.
- Discuss the concept of a budget with students. Specifically talk to them about how a budget provides a plan for spending and saving. Explain what happens when income exceeds expenses (you have savings), or when expenses exceed income (you accrue debt).
- Hand out the "Monthly Budget" Student Organizer. Explain to students that the worksheet is an abbreviated list of the possible expenses they might have when they grow up, and that the numbers are estimates. The only expense left to fill in is the mortgage loan amount. Ask students to fill in that amount with one of the monthly payment amounts of their choice from the previous day's "Mortgage Options" Student Organizer.
- Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to pay careful attention to the financial trouble the pickle factory is in. Play the "Pickles, Inc., 4" segment for the class.
- Lead a discussion with students about the situation the factory is in, and how the factory might have acquired debt (their expenses exceeded their income).
- Next, ask the students to determine how much money they will need each month to cover their list of expenses. Ask the students to use the salary from the job they would like to have, that they researched on the first day. Explain that the annual salary of the job they researched on the first day, will need to be divided by twelve to determine the monthly income amount. After determining that number, students should write it in the "Monthly Income" space of the budget worksheet.
- Next, ask students to calculate the total of the monthly expenses, and then see if their proposed monthly income was equal to, less than, or greater than their total monthly expenses.
- If students' income was equal to their expenses, they should put a "0" in the debt and savings spaces. If their income was more than their expenses, they should put the difference in the "Savings" space. If their income was less than their expenses, they should put the difference in the "Debt" space.
- Next, ask the students to break up into groups based on whether they ended the month with savings, debt, or neither.
- Ask the "Savings" group to come up with ideas of why having savings is so important. Specifically, ask the group to think about the need for savings in terms of crisis: losing a job, having a serious illness, natural disasters. The idea is that savings provides a safety net so that the monthly expenses can continue to be paid even if income is interrupted, or if the expenses go up dramatically for a period.
- Ask the "Debt" and the "Neither" groups to discuss options they have if their expenses exceeded or equaled their income, for example, they could spend less or find a job that provides more income. Ask them also to include a discussion of why savings would be important if monthly costs were equal to or exceeded income. The savings could help finance the monthly shortfall.
- Ask each group to appoint a spokesperson to share their findings with the class.
- Reiterate the need for savings as a safety net in times of trouble and crisis, taking perspectives from all three groups.
- Conclude the discussion with a reiteration of the concept that education can lead to more career and income options, and that income can mean that one can afford the basic life expenses, with the potential to save for other needs.
- Students could break up into teams, and be given different financial emergency scenarios, and would then determine how much savings in their budget would be necessary to meet the crisis. Students can use the "Monthly Budget" Student Organizer to determine different scenarios where expenses increase due to medical emergencies or major home or car repairs; or where income falls due to a crisis like a lost job or serious illness.
- Ask students to research the major consumer protection laws, possibly including a visit to their local library to do the research.