History: Do you own one pair of jeans? Two pairs? More than two pairs? Do you know when jeans were invented and why? In this lesson you will learn about when and why blue jeans were invented, about resources needed to produce them and about the entrepreneur behind their successful history.


In this lesson you will identify examples of productive resources, and categorize productive resources as human resources, capital resources, and natural resources. You will also explain that an entrepreneur is a special type of human resource, and identify examples of intermediate goods.


Productive resources are the human resources, capital resources, and natural resources used to make goods and services. Human resources are the labor or human effort used to produce goods and services. One special type of human resource is an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is the person that comes up with the idea for a good or service and takes the risks to produce it. Capital resources are goods produced and used to make other goods and services. Do you know any examples of capital resources? Natural resources are "gifts of nature"; they are present without human intervention. Do you know any examples of natural resources? For example cotton is a natural resource, and cloth is the intermediate good used to produce the final product, like jeans. Some resources are used up in the production of a final good or service. These resources are called intermediate goods. When cotton cloth is used to make shirts, the cloth is an intermediate good that is used up to make the final good, shirts. What would be the intermediate goods used in the production of cars and apple juice?

Activity 1

Now go to Levi Strauss, A Short Biography and use information from the Strauss' biography to answer the following questions.

1. Why did Strauss move to San Francisco?

2. Why would being close to the waterfront be beneficial for Levi?

3. How did Levi get the idea for improving pants?

4. Why might Levi Strauss be considered an innovator rather than an inventor?

5. What was the original name for jeans?

6. Name some of the tasks involved in making the jeans?  

7. Why was Levi Strauss and Company able to survive the San Francisco fire of 1906?

Activity 2

Now go to the "A History of Denim " and the "History of Levi's 501 Jeans " pages.

Read the "History of Denim" and "History of Levi's 501 Jeans" to find examples of different types productive resources and intermediate goods and complete the chart.

(Make a drop and drag choice activity for students reflecting this chart, order within categories is not important, put the choices in random order.)

x x x x
x x x x
x x x x
x x x x
x x x x

[designers] [metal rivets] [dye] [manufacturer] [factory] [advertiser] [fabric/cloth [cotton] [tailor] [linen thread] [indigo] [pencil, paper, computer] [sewing machine] [electric saw]


You have learned about the productive resources involved in making jeans. The productive resources are human, capital, labor, and intermediate goods. By now you should be able to look at a product you use daily, and identify the productive resources used to produce that product. Now give your definition of each.

  1. What is the definition of Human resources?
  2. What is the definition of Capital goods?
  3. What is the definition of Natural resources?
  4. What is the definition of Intermediate goods? 


Use the following sites to help you identify the productive resources used to make a variety of products used daily by students like you.

Directions: Find as many productive resources as you can at each of the product sites above (Hershey, Wrigley, and Pencils). Use the following link to print out The Evaluation Worksheet and complete the chart on the worksheet. Then, using prior knowledge, work together with individually or with a partner to fill in what the site does not provide you with.