The goal is for students to calculate values & percentage change of fictional stocks. One could easily have them graph results as well.
Getting students interested in investing and budgeting can start in your math class. Give each student $100 of play money and a copy of stock/commodity prices (easily found in Wall Street Journal or online). Have students scour the handout of stock prices and pick which stocks/commodities they would like to invest their $100 in. After doing so, have them calculate how many shares they purchased of each (round to the nearest tenth for ease).
Next, over the course of the next month, have them track their investment (either by you reproducing the pricing sheet or by them checking online). Each week have them recalculate their balance based on the change in stock price and the percentage change.
Change in Value:
$100 @ $25 per share = 4 shares.
If after 1 week the new price is $24 per share your investment is = $96 (4 x 24).
96 – 100 = - 4
- 4/100 = -.04 or – 4%
At the end of a designated time period, have students sell their shares and pay them back in pretend money.
**Differentiated Instruction: If you had some advanced students who really liked this exercise but wanted more, you could discuss short-term capital gains taxes and have students calculate their actual profit.