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Virtual Economics

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Lesson 1: People Live in a World of Relative Scarcity.
Children in the Marketplace: Lesson Plans in Economics for Grades 3 and 4
We all live in a world of relative scarcity. Things that we need or want can be as hard to find as gold or as difficult to catch as deep-sea fish or as elusive as time. We do not have an unlimited supply of all the things that would satisfy our relatively unlimited wants. This condition of scarcity means that people must make choices in order to acquire whatever they desire most. Scarcity also...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Scarcity, Choice, Opportunity cost, Wants,

Lesson 7: Mitchell Is Moving
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
Mitchell the dinosaur is bored and wants to move away. His decision to move costs him something, something very important left behind. Mitchell solves the dilemma, builds a new home, and keeps an old friend.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choices, Scarcity, Human Resources, Capital Resources, Opportunity Cost, Productive Resources, Natural Resources

Unit 1: Lesson 2 - Alternatives
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 2-4 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In working on Choices and Changes, students should learn that they can ordinarily respond to events in their lives by alternative means, and that it is up to them in these cases to find an alternative that will result in a beneficial outcome. In Lesson 2, students begin to develop the skill of discovering alternatives. The point to be grasped is that people who find alternatives are more active ...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Alternatives, Goal, Obstacle,

Theme 2: Lesson 4 - The Grasshopper and the Ant
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, children use an adaptation of Aesop's fable, "The Grasshopper and the Ant," to learn about the trade-off between satisfying wants today and planning for the future. Children use the fable to examine their own behaviors and decisions about saving. They learn how interest provides an incentive to save. Writing their own fable provides the children with a creative way to express th...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Opportunity cost, Trade-offs, Saving, Interest,

Lesson 1: Choosing a House
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 5-6
Economics is a decision-making science based on the concept of scarcity. Scarcity occurs when economic wants are greater than the resources available to satisfy them. Scarcity requires decision making, and economizing is the process of choosing among alternatives in order to achieve particular goals.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Alternatives, Criteria, Opportunity cost, Trade-off,

Lesson 8: Mini-Mall
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
Students participate in a market simulation. They assume the roles of consumers and producers as they buy and sell goods and/or services in the marketplace.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Consumer, Choice, Marketplace, Opportunity cost, Producer,

Lesson 4: Olympic-Minded Decisions
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 3-4
The basic economic question is how do people use their scarce resources to satisfy their unlimited wants wisely. They must make choices.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Decision making, Opportunity cost, Alternatives, Criteria,

Lesson 10: The Pencil Choice
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson the students assume the role of consumers and choose among three pencils. They discuss wants, acceptable substitutes, and other factors that influence consumer decisions such as price, personal satisfaction, and knowledge of alternatives.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice, Opportunity cost, Price,

Lesson 32: Choice Making
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
Once the books have been sold, the class decides what to do with the money left over (if any) after paying back the loan or credit and any other expenses incurred in the business. The teacher emphasizes that the money left over is payment to the class for all its hard work in the company. The students consider what choices are available to them, for such as charity or to buy more or new educatio...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice, Credit, Interest, Investment, Loan, Opportunity cost, Profit,

Theme 3: Lesson 7 - To Choose is to Refuse
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, students use the concept of opportunity cost to help decide which wants to satisfy with their limited income. Practicing decision making helps build consumer skills and develop an understanding of the importance of good decision making.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Wants, Income, Opportunity cost, Consumer spending decisions, Goods and services, Wage, Profit, Productive resources,

Lesson 19: Leave the Cooking to Me
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
Leave the Cooking to Me is a humorous, yet touching story of a young girl's responsibility for keeping meals on the table for her single-parent mother and her little sister. Shirley Merton decides to take this daily chore a step further. Without her mother's knowledge. Shirley, a.k.a. Vanessa, opens her own catering business. Her enthusiasm for her new job keeps her from becoming discouraged w...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Entnrepreneur, Opportunity Cost, Human Capital, Profit, Productive Resources, Human Resources, Specialization, Costs

Lesson 13: A Chair for My Mother
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
When all their possessions were burned in a fire, a little girl, her mother, and grandmother save all their extra money to buy a special chair. The characters make choices to save in order to obtain something important to them.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Human Resources, Savings, Scarcity, Wages, Consumers, Opportunity Cost

Lesson 2: People Use Resources to Produce What Other People Want.
Children in the Marketplace: Lesson Plans in Economics for Grades 3 and 4
Producers, like consumers, must make choices. They must make decisions about supplying buyers (consumers) with the good or service that will yield sellers (producers) the greatest profit. They must choose how to combine available resources to produce a satisfactory product at a price that is acceptable to consumers. If producers make correct choices, their businesses will be successful and cons...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice, Resources, Production, Productivity, Scarcity,

Lesson 4: Opportunity Cost (Consumers) - The Best Alternative Not Chosen
Play Dough Economics
In this lesson, students will learn what opportunity cost means; that there is an opportunity cost to every consumer choice; to identify the opportunity cost of a consumer choice.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Scarcity, Trade, Opportunity cost, Consumer, Producer

Lesson 18: Topics For The News Journal
The International News Journal, Inc.
In this lesson students review news magazines to decide on some topics consumers might like to read about in a new journal. Students discuss various topics and decide which topics might make a balanced and interesting news journal. They then decide which topics to research.
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Choice, Corporation, Opportunity cost

Lesson 10: Saving and Investing - Planning For the Future
Play Dough Economics
In this lesson, students will learn that individuals either save or consumer after-tax income; that saving has an opportunity cost - giving up current consumption; that consuming has an opportunity cost - giving up greater future consumption; that savings which are invested in the production or purchase of capital result in increased productivity, and create the possibility of greater future incom...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Saving, Investment, Income, Consumption, Opportunity cost, Choice, Productivity

Lesson 5: Opportunity Cost (Producers) - Producers Have To Choose, Too
Play Dough Economics
In this lesson, students will learn that producers, as well as consumers, have to make choices about how to use scarce resources; that these choices also have opportunity costs.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Scarcity, Opportunity cost, Producer, Productive resources

Unit 1: Lesson 5 - Opportunity Cost
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 2-4 - Teacher's Resource Manual
In this lesson students will: Recognize the importance of identifying the opportunity cost of a potential choice; Use the concept of opportunity cost before making decisions; Avoid using the word "free."
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Opportunity cost,

Unit 4: Lesson 16 - Entrepreneurs and the Interdependence of Buyers and Sellers
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 2-4 - Teacher's Resource Manual
People often think of themselves as consumers, but not as producers. In this lesson, students will meet business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs so that they can identify with them and perhaps aspire to start their own business someday. Students should recognize that business owners depend on consumers to help them earn a living. Students should come away from this lesson realizing that "We...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Alternative, Choice, Consequence, Consumer, Entrepreneur, Human capital, Innovation, Interdependence, Invention, Interview, Opportunity cost, Physical capital, Production, Work,

Lesson 15: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler
Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature
Eleven-year-old Claudia Kincaid feels that too much responsibility has been placed on her at home. To make her family appreciate her more, she decides to run away from home. Claudia persuades her younger brother, Jamie, to accompany her on a trip to a most unlikely place -- the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Scarcity, Savings, Price, Inflation, Goods and Services, Opportunity Cost, Interdependence

ONLINE LESSONS:

online You Decide!
Think about a difficult decision you have had to make. After you decided did it work out? Why or why not? Why do you think decisions and choices are hard to make? We make personal decisions and we make decisions as groups. There is a tool you can use to improve your decision making that will help you reach a better outcome.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity

online Toys for Me: A Lesson on Choice
Students encounter the concept of scarcity in their daily tasks but have little comprehension as to its meaning or how to deal with the concept of scarcity. Scarcity is really about knowing that often life is 'This OR That' not 'This AND That'. This lesson plan for students in grades K-2 and 3-5 introduces the concept of scarcity by illustrating how time is finite and how life involves a s...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity,Costs,Wants

online Destination: Mars
Look up! Can you ever imagine standing on another planet and looking down at earth? We've been to the moon - now lets launch an expedition to Mars. Imagine all the preparation you will have to go through in order to have a safe and successful mission! You must decide what you should take, how you will prepare yourself and carefully think through each and every choice – once you lift ...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Human Resources,Opportunity Cost,Scarcity

online Paraffin-alia
All resources are limited. It is this simple fact--scarcity--that forces us to make decisions. When we do make a choice, we pass up some other opportunity. Opportunity cost is defined as the next best alternative not chosen, or the alternative given up, when we make a decision. There are opportunity costs in making decisions about which movie you'd like to see at a certain time, how to spe...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Decision Making,Opportunity Cost,Productive Resources,Scarcity

online Economic Spotter: Resources During World War II
In World War II pennies were made of steel and zinc instead of copper and women were working at jobs that men had always been hired to do. Why? Because during war times, scarcity forces many things to change!
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Capital Resources,Choice,Human Resources,Natural Resources,Opportunity Cost,Productive Resources,Scarcity,Technological Changes,Human Capital,Investment

online Trouble is Brewing in Boston - "Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak"
It's December 16, 1773 and many of the citizens of Boston are furious with King George's new tax on tea. Young Ethan, a printer's errand boy, has been given the task of conveying information concerning an upcoming protest meeting. As he makes his rounds through the city the reader is introduced to the goods and services provided by colonial merchants. [NOTE: These lessons are based on ...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Decision Making,Goods,Incentive,Opportunity Cost,Producers,Scarcity,Specialization,Services,Wants

online Dynamic Decision Making
Students will be introduced to the PACED Model and learn to use the parts of the model-- Problem, Alternatives, Criteria, Evaluation, and Decision -- in solving problems and making decisions. They will practice using the model in decisions about meals and career possibilities.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Cost/Benefit Analysis,Decision Making,Opportunity Cost

online If I Ran the Zoo - Economics and Literature
Welcome to the Zoo! In this two-day lesson you will use Dr. Seuss' If I Ran The Zoo book to introduce the economic concepts to your students. You will also get the chance to use actual zoo criteria to help a zoo "choose" new animals.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Choice,Consumers,Demand,Price,Scarcity,Shortage,Supply,Resources

online You Can BANK on This! (Part 2)
As in the first 'You Can BANK on This,' you will learn that banking should not be confusing - it should be INTERESTING! Lesson Two will continue learning with Zing, but this time we will learn all about budgeting - and budgeting means making choices!
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Budget,Choice,Decision Making,Economic Wants,Scarcity,Benefit,Costs,Taxes,Wants

online Jelly Belly Jam
In this lesson students will make a decision making chart and use it to help them in deciding which flavor of Jelly beans to buy.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Decision Making,Opportunity Cost

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