Academic Solutions: The Virtual Stock Market Game

What is the stock market game?

The stock market game is a classroom exercise that provides students of all ages an opportunity to learn about Wall Street and teaches them how the stock market works. In the game, students choose stocks that they “purchase” with virtual funds and then track the performance of those stocks over a specified period of time. The game can be tailored to any age group and classroom environment and can last for as long or as briefly as necessary.

What do students benefit from playing it?

The stock market game supports a wide variety of learning outcomes that are aligned and consistent with local, state, and national standards and competencies over a broad range of ages. Students who play the stock market game develop critical thinking skills as well as learn how to research subject matter and apply that research to the real word. The stock market game fosters skill development in language arts, economics, financial literacy, and mathematics. According to an independent study by the nonprofit education consulting group Learning Point Associates, students who participated in the stock market game demonstrated significant improvements in financial literacy and mathematics, especially when compared to students who did not play the game.

Do I need to know about stocks?

No! One of the great things about using the stock market game in the classroom is that the teacher does not have to be an expert on Wall Street and the stock market. The teacher only needs to understand how the game is played and how to organize and facilitate the necessary activities. Many teachers report that they learned just as much about buying and trading stocks as their students did. In addition, there are many excellent and free resources available on the internet for teachers to use in implementing and running the game in their classrooms. Scroll down below to find links and resources market game.

How do I use it in my classroom?

One of the advantages to the stock market game is its adaptability and scalability for the classroom. At a minimum, teachers only need access to a daily newspaper that lists the previous day’s closing prices for the stock market. After students have selected the stocks, the teacher and students can check the performance of the stocks on a periodical basis. If the teacher has access to an internet connected computer(s), the entire game can be set up and tracked online on one of many websites that offer virtual stock trading.

Once the teacher has chosen how the stocks will be monitored, he or she can either have students choose stocks individually or as members of teams. This period of time before the virtual “purchase” of the stocks can be used to teach students how to conduct research on a company and gauge whether the financial outlook for the company looks promising.

Once the game begins, the teacher allots each student or team a fixed amount of virtual “funds” that they use to purchase a variety of stocks at their actual real-world price points. After the stocks have been “purchased”, the performance of the stocks are tracked and measured by the students over a fixed period of time. During that time, students can continue to buy, sell, and trade stocks as if they were genuine investors, traders or brokers. The game can last as briefly as a few days or weeks and can be played as long as several months.

What materials do I need?

The materials the teacher needs can be scaled down and adapted to their specific classroom environment. For teachers with limited resources, all that is absolutely necessary is access to a daily newspaper that lists stock prices. Teachers and students can manually record and track their virtual “purchases.” For teachers with access to internet-ready computers, the entire game can be run online. Some websites offer the game for free, while others charge minimal fees but offer much more features, such as stock analysis guides, historical stock prices information, and even quarterly financial filings from the companies and corporations themselves. Teachers can modify this game to whatever budget or classroom environment they need to. Look below for further information and resources on the stock market game.

Links and Resources