The FTC offers a lot of good resources designed to help students and adults become savvy consumers. One of the resources they provide for students is an online environment called Consumer Education at the Mall. This virtual mall features animated lessons, games, and other activities that help students understand advertising methods, product pricing, and privacy protection. The virtual mall also has a section in which students can learn about common consumer scams.
The consumer education mall has four sections. In the west terrace students learn about advertising methods and truth in advertising rules. The west terrace also includes a game in which students have to match advertisements to their intended audiences. In the consumer education mall’s food court students learn about how competition between businesses can be a good thing for consumers. In the food court students students also learn how supply and demand affect prices. The mall’s security plaza is where students head when they want to learn about consumer privacy protections, what kind of personal information is safe to share and which kinds are not safe to share. In the mall’s east terrace students discover why enticing prices, give-away promotions, and flattery isn’t what it appears to be on the surface.
Applications for Education
The activities in Consumer Education at the Mall are designed for students in upper elementary grades and middle school. You could have students attempt to go through all of the activities in one sitting or you could break it up into sixteen smaller lessons for your students. The FTC provides PDF fact sheets for each activity in the consumer education mall.