So You Want to Play

the Stock Market

(Will you make a fortune or lose your shirt?)

by Karen Kuyachich & Lisa Cauley
*This WebQuest is best viewed with Internet Explorer.


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   While we are reading the "Westing Game",  we will be delving into the financial world, specifically the Stock Market.  In the book, Turtle decides to take her team's $10,000.00 and invest it in company stocks.  She is convinced that if she makes money in the Stock Market, she will win the Westing Game and win mega bucks.  You will also use this opportunity to try your hand at the stock market and see if you too can win the brass ring.

    Your task is to learn how to "play" the stock market and make money.  Each person is given $500.00 in HK money to enter the "financial world".  You may buy up to two different stocks. When purchasing your shares you must stay within your $500.00  limit. You may choose to form teams of no more than 4 people or you may work on your own.  Research companies you think will make you money over the next 2 months.  Narrow your list down to 1 or 2 stocks.  Visit your broker, me, t abuy your shares and begin to track your company's progress.  At the end of the excerise you will sell your shares.  Any money over your initial $500.00 investment is profit. You will be given HK money as your profit reward.

    Part 1
    First, you must look around your world.  Where do you shop?  What do you purchase?  Do you go to the same stores or restaurants each week?  Make a list of companies you think make a difference to you. You should only invest in companys you use or understand their product.

    After you have chosen the business, look up the ticker symbol.   A good place to start your research on your chosen business would be Yahoo! Finance
    When you have found your ticker symbol, write it down.  You will be refering to the ticker symbol frequently. Bookmark the page where your company's information is found or write down the location (URL).  You will have to use this information to fill out several charts which will be kept in your Stock Market Portfolio folder. You will need to know the following things:

    Using the above information, you will visit your broker (teacher) and spend your $500.00 per person to buy one or two stocks.  If you are working as a team, you will have a maximum of $2,000.00 to spend on buying shares of up to 8 chosen stocks.  You may get help from your broker for $20.00 each player or you may use the discount house and tell your broker what to purchase for no money.  You must tell your broker the price each share will cost you today, how many shares you can afford, and what the total cost will be to buy.  Get as close as you can to your $500.00.  Anything left will be lost.  In other words if you spend only $300.00, the other $200.00 is gone.  Choose wisely.  Sometimes the price paid to the broker can save you money in the long run.  You will be paid HK money when you sell your stock. Remember your profit is the money over the initial $500.00 given to you by your teacher so take the time to think through your investment wisely.  Mom and Dad are good resources to help you check your math and research.  Spend some time at dinner tonight discussing the market.  Your will get a bonus of 10 points if your parents are included in your discussions.

 Yahoo! Finance

  1. Begin your research here. Use "Basic" to look up your company symbol.  Click on "symbol lookup".  Type in any part of the company name to find the ticker symbol.  Then go back to the main page and type in the ticker symbol and hit "Get Quotes".  This will take you directly to the page you will use to check the progress of your stock on a daily basis.  Bookmark this URL for future reference.
  2. Use this resource to start your research on the company you have chosen to invest your money.
  3. Check your company's profile.  Is it the kind of company you want to trust with your money?  What do they sell, buy, or make?
  4. Does your company pay a dividend?
  5. Has their stock split lately?
  6. Look for your company website's URL to explore. Is their site easy to navigate? Do you think it is easy to find?
  7. Check out charts showing how the company stock price has changed during the last 3 months, 1 year, and 5 years. Print it and look for trends.
  8. Read the news articles that relate to your company.
  9. What stock market is your company trading on so you can track it in the newspaper?
  10. What was the high price for the last 52 weeks?  The low price?  Where is it in comparison now?
  11. How many shares of stock can you afford in this company?

You can click here for a worksheet to help you answer the questions above.
Additional resources to use in your stock market quest:

 Free Guide to Stock Market
 The Young Investor Web Site
 Bloomberg Online
Taking Stock
Kiplinger - your source for per
How to play the stock market game
Stock trading and stocks
CNET - Welcome to CNET Investor
 Yahoo! Finance - ridgview00

Part 2
    Print your stock price daily.  Chart the progress of your stock on the worksheet which can be accessed by the following chart.  Use the information to create a line graph.  Finally use the following template link to chart your profit /loss statement.  Fill out the chart as you see in the example below.  Save and print to bring to school.

*The template works only with Internet Explorer.

Spreadsheet to track stocks example.

    You will decide when you want to sell your stock.  You must sell all of your shares at that time.  Fill in the rest of your template and save it to your disk. Print a copy showing your profit and/or loss.  You get the cash for anything over your initial $500.00 investment.  If you own more than one stock you may sell them at different times and buy another stock as money is available.  You may choose not to sell your stock during the 2 months.  Your broker (teacher) will announce when the selling day will be and everyone must settle accounts on or before that day.


Grades will be based on the completion of asked questions (reseach information form and daily price quotes), charts (spreadsheets and line graphs), exploration of provided websites,  and amount of profit made in the stock market.

Points for your grade are as follows:
Criteria Excellent Good Poor
Research information/form 40 pts.   25 points  10 points
Charts 25 points 15 points 10 points
Websites explored 20 points 10 points  5 points
Profit 15 points 10 points  5 points

Awarding of points
100- 85 points = A
85- 55 points = B
55- 30 points = C

    Take a jump into the literary field and write a new ending to the Westing Game.  Maybe Angel will marry Dr.Denton, or Mr. Hoo will invent the disposable outfit. You decide the fate of the players of the Westing Game.
    Using a story web create your own mystery. Remember to include a problem and the solution.