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Poptential™ Free Economics Curriculum Adds Content to Explain Today’s Inflation, Recession Woes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — With inflation reaching a 40-year high and talk of a looming recession, high school students are coming of age during one of the most challenging economies in recent history. To help them make sense of how we got here, Poptential™ has expanded and updated its Common Sense Economics digital curriculum to include recent economic events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, and the current inflation crisis. Click to tweet.

“The last couple of years, and this year in particular, have seen huge shifts in U.S. and world economies that will have implications for years to come,” said Julie Smitherman, director of content management at Poptential. “The beauty of a digital curriculum is that it can be updated at any time, so we have been adding content to help explain these shifts.”

Poptential Common Sense Economics is a 15-week curriculum that is standards-based and developed by teachers. Topics are illustrated with pop culture media taken from sitcoms, movies, animations, cartoons, late-night shows, and other sources, to help students better understand and retain a specific concept.

Modules available to address current economic trends include:

●     How the pandemic influenced consumer preferences—The pandemic profoundly impacted the supply and demand of many consumer goods. Module 2 of the eBook includes scenes from popular television shows, Superstore and This is Us, highlighting how consumer behavior changed at the beginning of the pandemic. To encourage critical thinking, the module also includes a video on price gouging offering an unconventional viewpoint.

●     Why inflation snowballed— There are different theories about what causes inflation. In Module 6, the mini-lesson titled “Where Did All of My Money Go?” features a video explaining the root of inflation currently impacting the U.S., as well as the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tamp down inflation by raising interest rates.

●     The reasons behind soaring housing prices—Unlike the housing bubble of 2008, today’s increasing housing prices are driven by a lack of supply. Module 6 contains a mini-lesson on housing bubbles and busts, featuring a video from The Simpsons about risky home loans and a clip from the 2011 movie Too Big to Fail that explains the rippling effects of these loans on the financial industry.

Poptential curriculum includes everything instructors need to teach a subject, including lessons, e-books, bell ringers, quizzes, and tests. All content is available via our digital platform, which allows students to access lessons even in poor bandwidth environments.

Poptential course packages in American History, World History, U.S. Government/Civics, and Economics, are available free at

About Certell, Inc.

Certell is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to foster a generation of independent thinkers. More than 30,000 teachers from throughout the United States have signed up to use Certell’s Poptential™ family of free social studies courses, and thousands more students are reached through Certell’s college-level courses in law and economics, and SensibleSchool™ instruction for home-schoolers, employees, and inmates. Certell course packages have won a number of awards, including EdTech Digest Awards for Curriculum and Instruction Solution, Tech&Learning Best Tool for Back to School, Tech Edvocate Awards, Bronze Award of Excellence from the National Association of Economics Educators, and Civvys Awards. More information is available at or on Twitter @CertellOrg.

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