Title:  World Economics in Central America - A Simulation

Grade Level:  10-12

Subject/CA Standards: Economics, Government,

Social Studies 12.2.2,12.2.8,12.2.10,12.6.1-4

Overview:  An increasing disparity between industrialized and developing nations has formed over the past decade.  Much of this disparity is the result of the forces of globalization, the world trading system, and the unequal distribution of resources.  This lesson simulates these conditions and allows students to look at how rich and poor nations are formed.

Purpose: Through participation in a simulation, students will better understand how trade influences the development of a country.



  1. Adapted from the World Trade Game created by the World Youth Programme at http://www.ecumenicalyouth.org/world_trade.html.
  2. For 30 students you will need:

Activities and Procedures:

Place students into groups where each group represents a different country in Central America:


Costa Rica

4 students each country

2 pairs of scissors

2 rulers

3 markers

2 compasses

1 triangles

1 sheet of paper

6 '100 $ notes'

4 pencils



5 students each

10 sheets of paper

1 sheet of colored paper

1 tube of glue

2 '100 $ notes'


El Salvador

6 students each

4 sheets of paper

2 pencils

World Bank

2 students


Binder paper

Set up 'accounts' for each country

Tying It Together/ Debrief:

  1. Some of the participants will be accused of cheating, in which case the class can discuss moral issues and ethics in international business.
  2. Discuss the following questions: