BY BILL FERRIS

YouAreHere, a site from the Federal Trade Commission, teaches 5th through 8th graders about being smart consumers. Your students will get to hang out at a virtual mall, learning lessons about stuff like scams, supply and demand, competition, identity theft, and misleading advertising in each store.

A small cast of animated characters explains each topic in plain language. The Parents & Teachers section includes supplemental fact sheets and information to help you drive home the lessons from the site. There’s a lot of content available on YouAreHere, so you can pick and choose which topics you want students to look at.

My one complaint about the site is that you can’t pause or rewind the cartoons — a hazard when they’re giving a long explanation about how the Sherman Antitrust Act works. This minor drawback aside, YouAreHere helps explain commerce to kids in an engaging and entertaining way.

YouAreHere

Related stuff:

Students can manage their money at Mint.com

Teach financial responsibility with Saving Our Futures

Marketplace explains the credit crisis as an Antarctic expedition

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