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This economics lesson teaches students about opportunity costs, scarcity and how choices are made


Computers & Internet, Social Studies  



Title – Making Choices
By – LaShawn Pope
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subject – Computers and Internet

Grade Level – 3


    Scarcity, Opportunity Cost and Choices


    Teach students about opportunity costs, scarcity and how choices are made.

Benchmark/Content Standards:

    3-E1.01 Explain how scarcity, opportunity costs, and choices affect what is produced and consumed in Michigan.

Materials needed:

    Kidspiration, Journals and pencils.

Development of Lesson:

  • Introduction:
    • Students will learn about scarcity, opportunity cost and the choices that must be made and how to connect this concept to their lives.
    • Ask students who made a choice today, “What did you sacrifice while making that choice?”
  • Methods/Procedures
    1. Define:
      • Scarcity
      • Opportunity cost
      • Resources
      • Supply
      • Demand
      • Goods
      • Services
    2. Read scenario to students:
      • You have been invited to a birthday party, to see a movie with your friend and to spend the night at your grandparents. Unfortunately, the three events are on the same day and at the same time. Of course, you cannot do all three. You have to make a decision.
    3. Have students list the three choices and write 1, 2 or 3 next to each choice.
    4. Explain opportunity cost. Have volunteers explain what is given up by making a choice.
    5. Have students log into the inspiration software. Students will decide how to spend $20 and use the software to make a model explaining what they will buy.
  • Accommodations/Adoptions:
      I will pair students in groups to ensure that students who need extra help will be able to work with students who understand.
  • Outcomes:
      Students will understand that choices must be made when resources are scarce.
  • Assessment/Evaluation of Student Learning:
      Students will be assessed by their participation in the game and by the completion of the journal entry.
  • Closure:
      Reinforce the definitions of scarcity and opportunity cost. For homework students will compose a journal entry of choices that they make daily.

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