Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Dollar by Any Other Name...

This week, the National Constitution Center welcomes guest blogger, Eli Lesser, Director of Summer Programs at the University of Pennsylvania to post on the it's Civic Learning Blog.

Think back a couple of months ago, President Obama and his team were just getting started they were making plans and trying wrap their minds around how best to address the difficult economic situation the nation now faces. If you listened carefully, and beyond the media sound bite, you heard a sense of opportunity for that word we heard again and again on the campaign trail, change.

Now over four months later change has started to come: expansion of TARP, stimulus money, new regulation of credit card markets, fuel standards, and many more. But, what about other aspects of the economy like money itself. Design strategist Richard Smith has posted a challenge on his blog "We need to rebuild our country, revive our economy, redesign the Dollar bill. Email us your ideas. Win a prize. In God We Trust, In Change We Believe."

Posted above is just one example of a number of submissions. This is a great activity (especially for the end of the year) for students. Pose the question:
  • Does the design of our money represent us?
  • How can changing the design of paper money help the economy?
  • What do you think US currency should look like?
Then as class have them present designs and argument in support of their design, choose a class winner and submit the design to Richard Smith at

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