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Rich Man

Financial Literacy Lesson Plan: Oliver Anthony and the Rich Man North of Richmond

Lesson Duration: 90 minutes

Target Audience: High School Students

Objective: To educate high school students about key financial concepts, government taxation, wage stagnation, inflation, trade agreements, and the impact of political decisions on the economy using the song "Oliver Anthony and the Rich Man North of Richmond."

Introduction (10 minutes)

Start with a brief discussion about the importance of financial literacy and its relevance in everyday life.

Introduce the song "Oliver Anthony and the Rich Man North of Richmond" as a way to explore various financial concepts and their impact on individuals and the economy.

Vocabulary Building (10 minutes)

Introduce the following vocabulary terms:


Work week



Wage stagnation

Trade agreements

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)


Second Amendment

4th Amendment

15th Amendment

Due process

Just compensation

Taxation without representation

Coal miner

Child trafficking


Lyric Analysis - Government Taxation and Paycheck Impact (15 minutes)

Play the excerpt of the song's lyrics: "I've been selling my soul, workin all day / Overtime hours for bullshit pay."

Discuss how the government collects taxes from individuals' paychecks before they can use that money to provide for their families.

Explain the concept of taxation and how it funds public services and infrastructure.

Discuss the impact of taxes on individuals' disposable income and purchasing power.

Discussion on Wage Stagnation and Inflation (20 minutes)

Play the excerpt of the song's lyrics: "It's a damn shame what the world's gotten to / For people like me and people like you / Wish I could just wake up and it not be true / But it is, oh, it is."

Define wage stagnation and inflation.

Discuss how wage stagnation occurs when wages don't keep up with the rising cost of living, leading to a decrease in purchasing power.

Explain how inflation erodes the value of money over time, making goods and services more expensive.

Use examples to help students understand how these concepts affect their own financial situations.

Impact of Trade Agreements and Open Borders (20 minutes)

Play the line from the song: "Cause of rich men north of Richmond and I wish politicians would look out for miners."

Discuss the impact of trade agreements like NAFTA on jobs, wages, and industries.

Explain how open borders and outsourcing can lead to wage pressures and job displacement for the average worker.

Discuss the importance of politicians considering the interests of all citizens, including those in industries like coal mining.

Role of Politicians in Protecting the Wealthy (10 minutes)

Play the line from the song: "and not just miners on an island somewhere."

Discuss how some politicians might use their positions for personal gain, such as insider trading.

Explain how elected officials should represent the interests of their constituents, not just the wealthy elite.

Discuss how political decisions can impact regulations and laws, including those related to child trafficking.

Artist's Journey and Conclusion (5 minutes)

Share information about the artist's background as a high school dropout who received his GED and turned down an $8 million offer.

Emphasize the value of education and determination in pursuing one's goals.

Summarize the main financial concepts discussed in the lesson.

Grading Rubric:

Criteria Excellent (5) Good (4) Satisfactory (3) Needs Improvement (2) Inadequate (1)

Vocabulary Understanding Accurate and thorough understanding of all vocabulary terms Demonstrates clear understanding of most vocabulary terms Understands some vocabulary terms, with minor inaccuracies Shows limited understanding of vocabulary terms Fails to grasp key vocabulary terms

Lyric Analysis Provides insightful analysis of how lyrics connect to government taxation and paychecks Offers a solid analysis of the lyrics' connection to financial concepts Presents a basic analysis of the lyrics' relevance Provides limited insight into the lyrics' meaning Fails to analyze the lyrics' connection to financial concepts

Discussion Participation Actively engages in discussions with thoughtful contributions Participates in discussions and offers relevant insights Participates with occasional contributions Participates minimally without substantial input Does not participate in discussions

Concept Comprehension Demonstrates a deep understanding of all financial concepts discussed Understands most financial concepts with minor gaps Grasps some financial concepts but struggles with others Struggles to understand multiple financial concepts Fails to comprehend key financial concepts

Presentation Skills Presents ideas clearly, with excellent organization and engaging delivery Presents ideas clearly and effectively, with good organization Presents ideas adequately, with minor organizational issues Presents ideas with limited clarity and organization Presents ideas incoherently and lacks organization

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