- Understand the terms "economic
downturn," "weak dollar," "niche market," "income
elasticity of demand," and "inelasticity of demand"
these concepts to an advertising project
- Create two advertisements for
back-to-school products for print, television, radio or online media.
The Great Recession has affected some industries and products more than others.
How can you predict what will sell in a bad economy and what will not?
Solman reports on business and economic news for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
Recently, he took a look at a California clothing company, "Not Your Daughter's
Jeans," that seemed to be thriving in recent economic downturn. You will
find Paul Solman's "The Business Desk" news story here.
PART 1: Tell students they will explore some of the economic
concepts of elastic and inelastic demand featured in the news story.
- Distribute the student handout, Case
Study Analysis. Group students into groups of three.
- Before students
answer the questions on the handout, review the directions and the case study
information with students and point out the highlighted economic concepts: economic
downturn, weak U.S. dollar, a niche market, income elasticity of demand, and in-elastic
demand. Spend some extra time if needed, to review these terms and make sure
they understand these concepts before you show the video. For more information
on elastic of demand refer to a lesson on EconEdLink
- Show the Paul Solman news segment to the entire class and ask
students to look for the explanations of the concepts featured. Then have student
groups discuss and answer the questions on the case study analysis in groups.
- Follow up by reviewing the questions' answers.
2: Now have students complete the assessment assignment
new groups or keep the same groups of 3.
- Distribute the student handout,
to Elasticity of Demand. Review the background and directions.
necessary, review the concepts of elasticity and inelasticity of demand from step
4 of the previous activity.
- Use the following information to assist students
in identifying which back-to-school products are elastic and inelastic in step
- Provide time for students to complete and present their advertisements.
Elastic (market for these items is
competitive with many alternatives, items are not always a necessity)
(items are in high demand and considered a necessity regardless of economic condition)
- Classroom supplies (pens, paper, notebooks, etc.)
tools (stapler, scissors, glues sticks, etc.)
Assess student work on the following areas:
- Cooperation and
participation in group activities
- Accurate identification of denotative
and connotative words
- Accuracy in identifying and applying appropriate
advertising techniques to products with elastic and in-elastic demand
ideas incorporated in the advertisements
In Paul Solman's "Business Desk" video on Tummy
Tuck Jeans, he uses many phrases and words that have two meanings. These
come off as puns, or "rag gags" as he calls them. To start this activity,
introduce students to the use of denotative and connotative words. Tell them that
some words can have the same or similar definitions can also have different connotations
(or meanings) due to social or cultural thinking. Distribute the handout Rag
Gags to each student and review the directions. Then show the news segment
After students have viewed the news segment, divide the class into
groups of three. Assign each group five of the words on the list from the handout
and tell them to fill out the chart. After student have completed their charts,
discuss some of the ways the news segment used the words and visual cues to further
promote the meaning. Also, review the other meanings students thought of for the
terms. Then ask students how they might use these terms in advertisements for
clothing or any other product.