Posted by: jwhiff | July 23, 2018

MN5: Richest People

This is the start of a very interesting story. I highly recommend NOT doing this lesson as a stand alone. Follow it up with MN6: GDP of Underprivileged Nations. It paints a very stark picture of wealth inequality. Remember that if you would like to understand the Mystery Numbers process better, please click on the headings.

Here is the list:

68,700,000,000

91,900,000,000

75,800,000,000

52,200,000,000

108,900,000,000

60,400,000,000

72,000,000,000

90,100,000,000

67,600,000,000

Unit? Dollars. In the article, the unit is billion dollars. This is, of course, much easier to read. Recognizing the value of the 8 in 3.8 billion dollars, for example, is a very important numeracy skill that I would practice here. Change the unit and get the kids to practice recording the number. What if the unit were million dollars? Thousand dollars?

Expert source: Independent Article (Richest People)

This article was written in January 2018, so it is relatively current. Individual wealth fluctuates very quickly, so it won’t be perfect, for sure. It’s an accessible article for middle school kids, however. Another article that is quite accessible and provides good good biographical info for your expert is from Time Magazine: Richest People. I didn’t go with this article because the numbers are more highly rounded. The differences between the articles make for an interesting discussion, though.

Richest People: Who earned what?

Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon)

Carlos Slim Helu and Family (controls Latin America’s largest mobile telecom firm-America Movil.

Mark Zuckerberg (founder and CEO of Facebook)

Tim Sweeney (founder of Epic Games and creator of Fortnite)

Warren Buffett (successful investor and owner of over 60 companies, including Dairy Queen and Duracell batteries)

Larry Ellison (co-founder of database company, Oracle)

Bernard Arnault (owner over 70 exclusive brands including Louis Vuitton, Sephora and Dom Perignon)

Queen Elizabeth (British monarch and owner of property, rare items and investments)

Bill Gates (co-founded Microsoft)

Larry Paige (founder and CEO of Google)

Amancio Ortega (co-founded Inditex, parent company of fashion retailers such as Zara)

Remember that not all of these people are the real deal. It bugs me a bit the Independent article doesn’t include the Koch brothers, because they are on a bunch of other lists. I figure this could be a part of the discussion as well.

Ethical concerns about amassing such wealth? This will make for an interesting debate, especially when you move on to the GDP of Underprivileged Nations.


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