The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate that the production of most goods can be broken down into a number of specific tasks (division of labor), with each of these tasks assigned to specific workers (specialization.)
In ancient Hawaii, chiefs managed the economy by creating a land division system, the Ahupua'a, which divided the islands into pie slice shapes. Each Ahupua'a covered the three main regions of the islands: the mountains, the valleys, and the beach. This system was designed to allow all Hawaiian communities equal access to the limited natural resources of the islands. However, it took a lot of time and energy to gather and grow all these resources, which were often spread out over great distances and located at different elevations. Many Hawaiians began to specialize in fishing and farming, and soon there was a need for Hawaiians to trade with one another to receive items they were no longer growing or gathering for themselves.
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 the book "Colonial Voices Hear Them Speak" by Kay Winters. However, it is not necessary for the students to have read the book to successfully complete the activities.]
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.
This interdisciplinary curriculum guide helps teachers introduce their students to economics using popular children's stories.
12 out of 29 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
This publication contains complete instructions for teaching the lessons in Choices and Changes, Grades 5-6. The Choices and Changes series is designed to help students understand how the U.S. economy works and their roles in the economy as consumers, savers and workers.
1 out of 15 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
Designed primarily for elementary and middle school students, each of the 15 lessons in this guide introduces an economics concept through activities with modeling clay.
1 out of 17 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.