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University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Inflation! Inflation! Inflation!

Recommended Grade Level(s)

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Primary Subject Area(s)

  • History
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Mathematics

Related Artifacts

Activity Description

Begin by having students identify common items listed in the Rinker letters and determining those items' contemporary prices (i.e., by visiting a local grocery store). Compare these amounts to costs of the same items across states during the boomtown years as determined from Rinker's letters. Next, compare costs across states today by having students look at newspapers and/or grocery store ads from across the country.

  1. Is the price differential the same? Why or why not?
  2. Does the percentage increase align with the national inflation rate (see an inflation calculator)? Have students use maps and tables to explain their findings.

Standards Addressed

  1. History
    1. Grade 4 Standards
      1. H2.4.2: Describe the experiences of pioneers moving west.
    2. Grades 6-8 Standards
      1. H1.[6-8].7: Explore the lure of the West and the reality of life on the frontier as it relates to communication, farming and water issues, mining, and ranching.
  2. Geography
    1. Grade 4 Standards
      1. G7.4.4: Describe historical and current economic issues in Nevada using geographic resources, i.e., illustrate demographic changes due to mining and gaming.
    2. Grades 6-8 Standards
      1. G7.[6-8].5: Identify a regional or international economic issue and explain it from a spatial perspective.
    3. Grades 9-12 Standards
      1. G5.9-12.8: Select and design maps, graphs, diagrams, tables, or charts to organize geographic information using a variety of technologies.
      2. G7.[9-12].7: Analyze how location and distance connect to influence economic systems at local, national, and international levels.
      3. G8.[9-12].2: Describe the ways in which technology has affected the human capacity to modify the physical environment and evaluate possible regional and global impact.
  3. Economics
    1. Grade 4 Standards
      1. E11.4.3: Describe resources that are limited in Nevada and ways in which resources are shared.
    2. Grades 6-8 Standards
      1. E9.[6-8].5: Demonstrate and explain an understanding of supply and demand in a market, i.e., law of supply and law of demand.
    3. Grades 9-12 Standards
      1. E9.[9-12].5: Analyze markets using the concepts of supply and demand, including: impact of changes in supply on prices, impact of changes in demand on prices, impact of price controls.
  4. Mathematics
    1. Grade 4 Standards
      1. 5.4.2: Model and compute range.
      2. 5.4.3: Interpret data and make predictions using frequency tables and line plots.
    2. Grade 7 Standards
      1. 1.7.7: Calculate with integers and other rational numbers to solve mathematical and practical situations.
    3. Grade 12 Standards
      1. 3.12.3: Select and use appropriate measurement tools, techniques, and formulas to solve problems in mathematical and practical situations.
      2. 3.12.4: Interpret and apply consumer data presented in charts, tables, and graphs to make informed financial decisions related to practical applications.
      3. 5.12.1: Organize statistical data through the use of tables, graphs, and matrices (with and without technology).
      4. 5.12.2: Select and apply appropriate statistical measures in mathematical and practical situations.

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