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the secret history of credit cards

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Discussion Questions

Featured Lesson Plan
  • Who Controls the Real Cost of Credit Cards?
  • Student Handout: Viewer's Guide
  • Student Handout: How Much Does Debt Cost?

  • Additional Lesson Ideas
  • Making a Persuasive Statement
  • Personal Bankruptcy: What Does It Mean?

  • Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » Lesson Plan

    Who Controls the Real
     Cost of Credit Cards?

    » Lesson Objectives:

    In this lesson, students will evaluate:

    • How and why credit card fees and interest rates have changed so substantially over the last 24 years
    • The difficulty of paying off credit card debt

    » Materials Needed:

    Internet Access
    Student Handout: Viewer's Guide
    Student Handout: Paying Off a Credit Card Debt

    » Time Needed:

    10 minutes for students to familiarize themselves with the terms introduced at the beginning of the Viewer's Guide and to look over the questions the guide poses.

    60 minutes to watch the documentary.

    10 - 20 minutes for the discussion questions.

    45 minutes for small group discussion of the material from the Viewer's Guide and for completing the handout "How Much Does Debt Cost?"

    45 minutes for class discussion of the student handouts.

    » Procedure:

    1. Discuss questions 1 and 2 from Discussion Questions.

    2. Review all the definitions on Viewer's Guide with your students.

    3. Divide the class into SIX small groups and assign each of the groups ONE of the questions on the Viewer's Guide handout.

    4. Instruct students to read the question they will answer as and after they view the documentary. Tell them they will present their findings to the class.

    5. View the documentary.

    6. Ask each of the six groups to make a short presentation to the whole class on the question to which they were assigned.

    7. Conduct a large group discussion using the remaining Discussion Questions.

    8. Students in all groups should complete the handout "How Much Does Debt Cost?"

    9. Discuss responses to the handout "How Much Does Debt Cost?"

    » Method of Assessment:

    Class discussion
    Submission of handouts

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