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Virtual Economics

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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 5: In a Market Economy, the Forces of Supply and Demand Set the Prices at Which Exchanges Take Place.
Children in the Marketplace: Lesson Plans in Economics for Grades 3 and 4
Consumers wish to purchase goods and services so that they can satisfy their wants. Producers wish to supply goods and services to consumers in order to earn the profits with which producers can satisfy their own wants. Both sellers and buyers are better off when they willingly make exchanges in the market. To facilitate exchange, systems have evolved to coordinate the actions of suppliers and ...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Supply, Demand, Price, Markets, Opportunity cost, Value, Exchange, Consumer, Producer, Income, Profit,

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 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,

Theme 3: Lesson 6 - Consumers Want Goods and Services
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
This lesson focuses on consumer spending decisions that students make and the different roles they assume in making those decisions. The activities establish a rationale for studying personal finance decision making.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Scarcity, Wants, Consume, Consumer, Spending, Goods, Services,

Lesson 21: Resources for the Publishing Company
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson, you and your class begin to make decisions about the kid of book you will produce. The class also speculates on the resources necessary to produce the book and the cost of the resources.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Business, Consumer, Opportunity cost, Producer, Production, 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,

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,

Unit 1: Lesson 1 - Scarcity
Choices and Changes: In Life, School, and Work - Grades 2-4 - Teacher's Resource Manual
It is a paradox that people who learn to accept and deal with scarcity often achieve much more than those who don't accept it. The inability to deal with scarcity leads to problems with money, education, skill development, and many other areas. If children accept scarcity, they can then develop the skills necessary to minimize its impact on their lives. They will realize, for example, that cred...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Scarcity,

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,

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,

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 4: People's Wants Stimulate Production.
Children in the Marketplace: Lesson Plans in Economics for Grades 3 and 4
Consumers are those who buy goods or services in order to satisfy personal or household wants, rather than in order to produce a good or service. Consumers may be adults or children. Producers make goods or create and supply services. If producers believe that consumers want or value certain products, producers will find, pay for, and use the resources necessary to produce those products. Good...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Demand, Supply, Profit, Consumer, Producer, Advertise,

Lesson 11: Those Golden Jeans
Master Curriculum Guides in Economics: Teaching Strategies - 3-4
Supply and demand are concepts that students can easily understand when the concepts are demonstrated with products familiar to them. The Law of Demand states that consumers are willing and able to buy less of a product at higher prices and more of a product at lower prices. The demand curve is a graphic representation of the quantity of a product consumers are willing and able to buy at differe...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Supply, Demand, Consumer, Businesses, Price, Equilibrium price, Shortage, Surplus,

Lesson 6: Trade - Getting the Things We Want
Play Dough Economics
In this lesson, students will learn that people trade to obtain most of the goods and services they want; that in order to trade one must produce a good or service that other people want.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Economic wants, Production, Trade, Barter, Exchange, Consumer sovereignty, Demand

Theme 3: Lesson 10 - Why Do I Want All This Stuff?
Financial Fitness for Life: Steps to Financial Fitness - Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide
In this lesson, students learn about various types of advertising appeals, such as bandwagon, celebrity endorsement, and authority endorsement. They analyze ads to decide the audience to which the ad is targeted, the type of advertisement appeal used, and the facts and opinions included in the ad. Students create a display of ads.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Consumer, Price, Advertising, Tastes and preferences,

Lesson 22: Production Questions
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
In this lesson you and your class discuss the production questions that must be answered before a classroom book can be produced. As owners of the publishing company, your students must discuss how much people will pay for the book and how many books should be produced.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Business, Consumer, Entrepreneur, Marketplace, Market survey, Partnership, Price, Profit,

Lesson 13: Results of the Community Interviews
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
Students review their Community Notebooks and interview forms to help them form generalizations about their community.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Community, Goods, Marketplace, Production, Services,

Lesson 5: My Community
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
This lesson provides an opportunity for students to explore their own community by naming places in it that provide goods and services. Working in small groups, the students discuss and list this information and then enter it in a Community Notebook.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Business, Community, Consumer, Goods, Marketplace, Producer, Services,

Lesson 12: Interviewing People in the Community
Exploring the Marketplace: The Community Publishing Company - Teacher Resource Manual
Students learn how to conduct an interview to collect information about people and places in their community. Students practice their interviewing skills by interviewing each other, with the students taking turns playing the roles of community worker and of interviewer. It is assumed that students know how to take notes. At the conclusion of the lesson, students make Community Research Buttons ...
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Community, Goods, Marketplace, Services,

ONLINE LESSONS:

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 Opportunity Cost - Consumers
When individuals produce goods or services, they normally trade (exchange) most of them to obtain other more desired goods or services. In doing so, individuals are immediately confronted with the problem of scarcity - as consumers they have many different goods or services to choose from, but limited income (from their own production) available to obtain the goods and services. Scarcity dictates...
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Consumers,Opportunity Cost,Producers,Scarcity,Trade

online NOT your Grandma's Lemonade Stand
After a review of elementary economic concepts, students will apply their understanding by playing an online computer game, Lemonade Stand. This game has the students competing against themselves and others to earn the biggest profit in 25 days time (approximately 15 minutes computer time). "Daily" economic advice helps students find out where they fail in understanding the deman...
Grade(s): 3-5, 6-8
Concepts: Choice,Consumers,Demand,Price,Producers,Scarcity,Supply

online Open for Business!
This engaging lesson gives students the opportunity to identify risks and rewards of entrepreneurship and distinguish between entrepreneurs who start a business to produce a good or provide a service.
Grade(s): K-2, 3-5
Concepts: Business,Capital Resources,Consumers,Goods,Human Resources,Natural Resources,Opportunity Cost,Productive Resources,Benefit,Entrepreneur,Risk,Services,Goal

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 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 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 The Grasshopper and the Ant
Understanding the concept of opportunity cost is critical for good decision making. The ability to identify the opportunity cost—the highest valued alternative that must be given up when another option is chosen—helps people to assess their alternatives.
Grade(s): 3-5
Concepts: Economic Wants,Opportunity Cost,Trade-off,Interest,Savings,Spend

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

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