After a much-needed week with my family, it's back to the office. We had a wonderful time in and around Boston: walking the Freedom Trail, visiting the home of John Adams (which gave me some time meet with a good friend and former Fed colleague), whale-watching in Gloucester and seeing the bridge at Concord. Much was related to my junior high student's upcoming social studies focus, but we enjoyed everything, although I'm not sure he saw it that way. He agreed it was interesting and "cool."
To start off on the right foot, I'm linking to three sites that you can put to use in your classroom. The first site is an in-depth piece from The Financial Times on the current credit squeeze. There are several interactives that do a very good job explaining how the mortgage market ended up hitting the larger financial system so hard.
The second site is a debate being hosted at The Economist on global food prices. The question is whether or not there's an upside to rising global food prices. The discussion is lively and interesting. Definitely worth your time if you think your students will be asking about the topic in your classroom.
The third and final site is actually a political cartoon from The Economist. I think it speaks to the irony surrounding the recent collapse of the Doha round of trade talks. While numerous players balked for their own interests, ultimately countries need each other. So, I'm sure the talks will be resurrected in some form once everyone realizes they're better off cooperating than they are building barriers. I think you could use this directly with your students, seeing what they think the real message is.
As before, I look forward to your comments.