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Lesson: You Decide!


Dynamic Decision Making

Students will be introduced to the PACED Model and learn to use the parts of the model-- Problem, Alternatives, Criteria, and Evaluation- - in solving problems and making decisions. They will practice using the model in decisions about meals and career possibilities.

Grades: 3-5
Published: 12/11/2003

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 series of choices. Specifically, this lesson teaches students about scarcity and choice: Scarcity means we all have to make choices and all choices involve "costs." Not only do you have to make a choice every minute of the day because of scarcity, but, when making a choice, you have to give up something. This cost is called oppportunity cost. Opportunity cost is defined as the value of the next best thing you would have chosen. It is not the value of all things you could have chosen. Choice gives us 'benefits' and choice gives us 'costs'. Not only do you have to make a choice every minute of the day, because of scarcity, but also, when making a choice, you have to give up something of value (opportunity cost). To be asked to make a choice between 'this toy OR that toy' is difficult for students who want every toy. A goal in life for each of us is to look at our wants, determine our opportunities, and try and make the best choices by weighing the benefits and costs.

Grades: 3-5
Published: 04/21/2004

Hawaiian Economics: From the Mountains to the Sea

Ancient Hawaii was ruled by chiefs, who were responsible for the well-being of their people and for managing the islands' resources. The chiefs divided the islands into land districts shaped like pie slices called Ahupua'a (ah-who- pu-ah-ah.) Each Ahupua'a covered the three main regions of the islands: the mountains, the valleys, and the shore. This system was designed to allow all Hawaiian communities equal access to the limited natural resources of the islands. Students will recognize that an island has limited natural resources, will understand that the Ahupua'a system was one method for allocating resources, and complete a Cost/Benefit Analysis of this method. Students will also come up with own method for distributing Hawaii's natural resources and compare it with the Ahupua'a method.  

Grades: 3-5
Published: 10/28/2003

Related Publications

The following lessons come from the Council for Economic Education's library of publications. Clicking the publication title or image will take you to the Council for Economic Education Store for more detailed information.


Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature

This interdisciplinary curriculum guide helps teachers introduce their students to economics using popular children's stories.

Grades: 3-5
Published: 2006

15 out of 29 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Financial Fitness for Life: Grades 3-5 - Teacher Guide

This publication contains 15 lessons that complement the 3-5 Student Workbook. Specific to grades 3-5 are a variety of activities, including a guessing game using clues to identify various occupations; the story Urban Mouse and Rural Mouse which teaches students about entrepreneurs and opportunity recognition; and a role-playing activity in which students learn which method of payment is appropriate in a variety of situations.

Grades: 3-5
Published: 2010

7 out of 17 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Energy, Economics, and the Environment: Case Studies and Teaching Activities for High School

This publication helps students analyze energy and environment issues from an economics perspective.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2006

6 out of 6 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.