Money and Debt: Crash Course World History 202

Adam Smith contended that people are inherently drawn to creating a medium of exchange to make barter easier. A Crash Course World History video takes high schoolers through the creation and implementation of currency, and asks them to consider whether money was derived by human nature or by human behavior.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Connect between a class on world history and a class on economics, or address one subject during a lesson on the other
  • Assign the video for homework to flip your classroom; have class members come to class ready with questions and discussion topics
  • Have learners contrast the historical perspectives of Adam Smith and David Graeber
Classroom Considerations

  • Narration moves quickly; consider pausing periodically to discuss key points
  • Comment section is open to the public, but not visible if you show the video in full-screen mode
Pros

  • Offers a sophisticated take on a concept that learners may not have thought critically about
  • John Green provides humorous narration that maintains user interest
  • Connects currency, slavery, and war as forces that directly affect each other
Cons

  • None