Read the movie description that appears below the movie player on the Adam Smith topic page. Then use the following prompts to encourage class discussion before, during, and after watching the movie.


  • What do you think an economist does?
  • What can you tell about Adam Smith from the movie description?

During (Pause Points)

Stop at the following times in the movie and ask questions or prompt a discussion to keep students focused and to assess their understanding before moving on:

  • Timecode 0:59: What are some examples of goods? What are examples of services??
  • Timecode 2:25: How does Smith say mercantilism limits an economy?
  • Timecode 3:34: What are the three strategies Smith identified to create a free market, and how many of the three require the government’s involvement?   
  • Timecode 4:21: How might Smith’s ideas have allowed new democracies to flourish?


  • Why might a mercantilist system have worked better for a monarch?
  • Would Adam Smith have supported the right to free internet access? If so, how would he argue that it supports the individual’s labor?

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments