Budget Hero

Lesson Duration

American Public Media

This is a great resource to help students understand the structural problems with the nation’s debt. Participants choose certain “badges that represent their values and then they are given a series of choices in the form of cards they can play, each of which can increase or reduce the debt.

I give my students a chance to play it three times, once with their own values, once to see how quickly they can bankrupt the country and a third time to see what it would take to produce a budget that would not risk bankrupcy, at least through 2060.

The game was designed in 2008 so some of the assumptions and the “cards” students have to play are inaccurate but overall it conveys the difficulty of the fiscal choices the nation faces very well.

The sound effects and graphics appeal to students and make monitoring student work easy.