This research will help 6th-8th graders find out information about Iowa's Economy. We already know that Iowa is most known for it's corn and livestock. Students will use these websites, encyclopdias, dictionaries, atlases, and videoes to find information on Iowa's Economy and their imports and exports to and from other countries. The purpose of this research will be for students to find out how the Flood of 2008 effected Iowa's Economy and if the economy has become stable since the flood.

Iowa Core Curriculum Encyclopedias Dictionaries Atlases Subject Encyclopedia's Biography Online Resources Fiction Newpaper Magazine Digital Streaming

Iowa Core Curriculum

Social Studies

Middle (6 – 8)

Essential Concept and/or Skill: Understand the role of scarcity and economic trade-offs and how economic conditions impact people's lives.

· Understand the cost and benefits of economic trade-offs and how scarcity of resources affects costs and benefits.
· Understand economic trade-offs at different levels (personal, business, local government).
· Understand the short term and long term impact of economic trade-offs on society.

Essential Concept and/or Skill: Understand factors that create patterns of interdependence in the world economy.

· Understand the impact of imported and exported goods and services in the local community.

· Understand the concepts of free trade and trade barriers.

· Understand trade barriers imposed by the United States from a historical perspective and the impact of those actions.

· Understand the interdependence of America and other regions of the world in terms of imports and exports.

· Understand balance of trade and trade deficits and their impact on the price of goods.

· Understand that the increased interdependence of the world market causes economic conditions in one country to affect others.

Essential Concept and/or Skill:Understand the use of geographic tools to locate and analyze information about people, places, and environments.
· Understand the characteristics and purposes of geographic tools and representations of the earth such as maps, globes, graphs, charts, models, grid systems, aerial and other photographs, GIS, satellite-produced images and databases.
· Understand mental maps of locales, regions and the world.

Essential Concept and/or Skill:Understand how geographic and human characteristics create culture and define regions.
· Understand human and physical characteristics of place.
· Understand the concept of region.
· Understand the physical environment affects life in different regions.

Essential Concept and/or Skill:Understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.
· Understand human systems develop in response to conditions in the physical environment.
· Understand the environmental consequences of people changing the physical environment.
· Understand ecosystems in terms of their characteristics and ability to withstand stress caused by physical events.


Essential Concept and/or Skill: Independently reads a significant number of books and text each year. This reading should include both fiction and nonfiction in a variety of genres.
Read widely from fiction, nonfiction, and electronic resources for information and personal fulfillment:
· Documents, journals, diaries, and albums
· Survey books
· Specialized books
· Reference books
· Biographies
· Autobiographies
· Multicultural readings
Electronic resources:
· Audio books
· Online resources
· Blogs

Essential Concept and/or Skill: Read for a variety of purposes and across content areas.
Read for purposes relating to fiction and nonfiction:
· For information
· To perform a task
· For enjoyment

Adjust reading rate and strategies according to purpose:
· Scan (to find a fact or answer)
· Skim (for general concepts and ideas)
· Engage in technical reading

Essential Concept and/or Skill: Use a variety of skills and strategies to comprehend nonfiction and informational text.
Study graphic cues:
· Titles
· Headings
· Photos
· Illustrations
· Charts
· Tables
· Graphs

Use comprehension strategies:
· Identify purpose
· Activate prior knowledge
· Predict and verify
· Ask and answer questions
· Draw inferences

· Identify main ideas
· Summarize
· Draw conclusions
· Evaluate
· Write to learn


Essential Concept and/or Skill: Use knowledge of purpose, audience, format, and medium in developing written communication.
Write for different communication purposes*:
· To inform
· To record
· To describe

Write for different audiences:
· Write for self, teacher, peers, and others.
· Vary form and content to match audience and purpose.
· Identify and include information a diverse audience needs to know (e.g., explain appropriate prior events, activate background knowledge).

Essential Concept and/or Skill: Apply writing skills and strategies to communicate effectively in a variety of genres with various audiences.
Write in a variety of genres*:
· Description
· Visual representations

21st Century Skills

Civic Literacy

· Understand issues regarding personal, political, and economic rights.
· Understand current foreign policy issues and the means the United States is using to deal with them.


· Understand focus may need to change as circumstances in the situation change.
· Recognize the need for different levels of structure.
· Keep own materials organized and gathers materials needed for the task.
· Prepare for and focuses on the task with enthusiastic anticipation.

Financial Literacy
· Identify the factors that impact the production of goods and services beyond the local areas.


· Individually or collaboratively create media-rich products and display, publish, or perform them for a variety of audiences.
· Create a plan for the use of digital tools and resources to investigate a real-world issue.
· Evaluate resources in terms of their usefulness and validity for research.
· Use technological tools to select data and organize it into a format that is easily understood by others.


Essential Concept and/or Skill: Select and use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret data.
The use of tools and techniques, including computers, will be guided by the questions asked and the investigations students design. Students should be able to access, gather, store, retrieve, and organize data, using computer hardware and software designed for these purposes.
Essential Concept and/or Skill: Understand and apply knowledge of processes and changes on or in the earth’s land, oceans, and atmosphere.
The surface of the earth changes. Some changes are due to slow processes, such as erosion and weathering, and some changes are due to rapid processes such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods and earthquakes.


Analyze and summarize data sets, including initial analysis of variability. In particular, students will:
  • Select, create, explain, and interpret appropriate graphical representations for given data sets (bar graphs, circle graphs, line graphs, histograms, line plots, stem and leaf plots, box-and-whisker plots, scatterplots).
  • Summarize and compare data sets using appropriate numerical statistics and graphical representations.

Use the following resources to help you with your research process. Take notes as you go along. Don't forget to write down people, places, dates, and events as you do your research. You can use these to help you narrow down your search as you get further into your research.


Dewey Decimal Numbers to search

912 Atlases
914-916 Countries of the World
917.3-917.9 United States
973 U.S. History
363 Environmental Issues
551.5 Weather

Key Search Terms

Iowa and economy
Iowa Trade
Iowa and Trade
"Iowa Economy"
Iowa economy and trade
(Iowa) and (Trade and economy)
"Iowa trade" and Economy
Iowa Exports not imports
Iowa Trade and "Flood of 2008"

Keywords: Tariff, Trade, Imports, Exports, Economy, trade barriers, exchange rates and free-trade agreetments

pathfinder13.jpgStart here!

World Fact Book
https://www.cia.gov/index.html Click on Library and choose World Fact Book. Search for the countries that Iowa exports to and gets imports from. Write these places down. They will be very important as you do your research.


World Book Encyclopedia (Gale Research, c1995) YR.031 W
Found at UNI Rod Library. There are 10 volumes to choose from in this encyclopedia set. You will find information about all types of topics throughout the set. Start by looking at the index and finding the word economy. It will then direct you to the volume you will need to look at to find information on it. Also try to find out what are the most common things that Iowa Exports to other countries.
Use this encyclopedia to look up the key terms Iowa, Economy, Exports, Imports, Tariffs, World Trade, free trade and agriculture.

Britannica Online- Middle Level Search-www.library.uni.edu
Click on Databases A-Z. You will then Click on Britannica Online School Edition Pre K-12. You will have to log on using your username and password to access Britannica Online. This is also an encyclopedia only it is found online. Once in Britannica type the key search terms into the search engine and come up with other search terms that relate to the topic. Click on articles related to the search terms listed above. Remember to write down people, places, dates, and events while doing your research. Does the information you found using Britannica Online relate to the information in World Book Encyclopedia?



Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary (Merriam Webster's, 2007, 3rd Ed.) YR 910 M
This is a dictionary that Use this dictionary to search Iowa, and the countries you have found Iowa Trades with. Take a look at the historical economic information this book offers. Take a look at the maps included in this dictionary to help you get a better understanding of some of these places.

Roget's International Thesaurus (HarperResource, 2001) YR 423 R
This is a typical thesaurus used in the classroom. You will be looking up the key terms to find synonyms related to the words. This will come in handy when narrowing down your research. These words may be useful as you begin to search for narrower topics. Use this thesaurus to look up the keyword terms. See what others words they have listed that go along with the economy and trade. Search words that are related to the economy and Iowa. These can help you when you start using advanced search options.



National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers (National Geographic, 2007) YR 912 N
This is an atlas that provides several maps and charts to find information on areas such as different countries and continents. Use this Atlas to look up Iowa and the countries Iowa exports to and get imports from. Use the index to look up World Economies in the United States. This atlas gives great information on our economy. Look for the economy symbols while browsing.

Goode's World Atlas (Rand McNally, 2005) YR 912 G
This atlas provides several maps of states, countries, and a variety of places. Use this Atlas to look up Iowa and the countries Iowa exports to and gets imports from. How are these regions similar or different to our own? Use the index to find the World Economic Table and take a look at it.

Subject Encyclopedia's

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations (Gale, 2004) G63.W67
There are 6 volumes included with this encyclopedia which are broken down by nations. Go to the index to look America and use this to research the countries that Iowa exports to and what their main imports and exports are. You found this information earlier in your research.

Encyclopedia of Weather and Natural Disasters (Gale/UXL, 2005) YR 551 U)
There are 5 volumes included with this encyclopedia set. In this encyclopedia set you will find information on all natural disasters and information on where they have effected. You will only need to use the term flood with this encyclopedia set. Look specifically at what it says about the flood of 2003. This information will help you out when discussing the history of the economy.

Gale Virtual Reference
Found in UNI Databases A-Z at www.library.uni.edu
For this site click on Advanced Search and type in Economy and Iowa. Information on Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Des Moines will come up. Read about each town's economy with major focus on Cedar Rapids because Cedar Rapids was hit hard with the Flood of 2008.


Current Biographical Yearbook (WIlson, 2008) CT 100.C8
This is a resource where you can find information on people that you hear about in the news and read about. Read about someone that you have found while doing your exploratory search. I'm sure there were several common names mentioned in a variety of resources. You could also look up John McCain and Sarah Palin because they visited towns in Iowa during the flood if you want to narrow your topic down to the flood.


Online Resources

World Fact Book
https://www.cia.gov/index.html This is a site you went to earlier but now I want you to go more in depth in it. Click on Library and choose World Fact Book. Click on the United States and choose Economy. You can also look at other regions that we export to and find information on their economy.

Start by clicking on Explore Topics. Once in there click on Business and Economy. You may then choose Your States Economy, and click on Iowa. A chart will come up of Iowa's Economy and the jobs for each month. You can choose dates other than the ones displayed. When you go back to Business and Economy you can then scroll down and click on Trade and Economy Data and Statistics. View the charts on our economy and the countries we export to. How or was the economy effected during the flood of 2008?

Culture Grams
http://trials.proquest.com/ptc?userid=3422381&intAsExt=Y You will be searching two different ways inside of this site. You will search by state and by country. First search by clicking on state and choosing Iowa. On the left hand side you will see a list of topics. Click on the economy. You can then access charts on Iowa's economy, the types of things that make up the economy, and employment. After finding information go back and search the countries Iowa Exports to. Search their economy just as you did for Iowa.



EBSCO Middle Search Plus
www.library.uni.edu in Databases A-Z
Choose Middle Search (Ebsco) and click on advanced search Ebsco is a search engine that allows you to search biographies, maps, photos, magazines, and newspaper articles. Go to the Advanced Search tab and type in Iowa Flood into the search engine. Scroll down and choose full text along with Newspaper. Read the article "Communities Plan Flood Recovery" from USA Today. Read other articles that you find by using the Boolean search terms and phrases listed earlier.


Found in EBSCO
Read the article from Newsweek titled "Summertime Blues" by Anna Quindlin. To access this article log onto www.iowaaeaonline.org and use your school access username and password. From there click on Student Research Center. You can also search other articles by searching Iowa economy and flood of 2008 or any other terms you find during your research. Read a few articles about how Iowa's Exports took a hit during the flood of 2008.


Hill of Fire by Thomas P. Lewis. (HarperCollins, 1971) This is a book about a farming family in Mexico. They lived near a volcano that is about to erupt. Read the book to see how this relates to the floods in Iowa. Compare and contrast what the families went through. Mexico is a place that we export to so how do you think this effected their economy.

Addie's Forever Friend by Laurie Lawlor. (Whitam Books, 1997) Addie is a fictional character who is visiting her aunt and uncle for the summer in Sabula, Iowa. While there a flood occures and she sets out to rescue her best friend.


Digital Streaming Video

www.discoveryeducation.com "Farming the Prarie" (Discovery Education, 2004)
Watch this video to find out about why agriculture is so important to the United States economy. You will find out what is produced and grown here and how they benefit us.


Your Teacher-Mrs. Roelfs

Remember that this is an independent project but I am here to assist you with anything. If you feel stuck or you just can't think of how to narrow down your topic to find information ask me! I would love to help you be a successful researcher so that you can continue to apply these skills in other classes.

Good Luck!