Educator Resources for Budget Hero
Every year, the U.S. government must decide how to spend its money. This interactive game challenges students to restore the federal budget to long-term fiscal health. After selecting three value badges to work toward, players will be presented with the U.S. budget as it currently stands, with skyscrapers representing government programs. Taller buildings receive proportionally more tax funding than smaller buildings. Players must then explore areas where they would choose to cut or add to the budget, with the goal of preventing a government default. This game provides a helpful way to reinforce the ideas of budgeting, wants, needs, and the gray areas that may lie in between. Students can also use the game to review proportions and ratios; they might be surprised to learn how big or small certain programs actually are compared with the full U.S. budget. Budget Hero's metrics are based on actual data from the Congressional Budget Office, so the game also provides a platform to discuss real U.S. budget decisions.
In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 9-12, students use BrainPOP resources to explore the principles of balancing budgets, both personal and governmental. Students will attempt to balance the U.S. government budget through online game play, and formulate arguments for an approach to reducing the federal deficit and defend their position during a debate. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards. See more »