A classic rhyme, Simple Simon and the Pie-Man, introduces students to the concepts of consumer and producer. Students learn that consumers are the people who buy and use goods and services. Producers make the goods and provide the services. When producers are working, they often use goods and services provided by other producers. These goods and services are called resources. An interactive activity helps students distinguish between consumers and producers. In a second activity, the students match producers with the resources needed to provide goods and services. A suggested follow-up lesson is We are Consumers and Producers which examines how students and their families function as consumers and producers in their homes and communities.


Capital Resources, Consumers, Goods, Producers, Production, Services


  • Define and give examples of consumers and producers.
  • Give examples of consumers and producers.
  • Differentiate between consumers and producers.
  • Identify resources producers use to make goods and services.


BakerDo you know the nursery rhyme about Simple Simon and the Pie-man? It tells a story about a consumer and a producer. Consumers are people who buy and use goods and services. Producers are people who make goods and provide services. In this lesson students will learn what consumers and producers do. They will also be asked to give two examples of resources used by producers.




Project the 'Simple Simon Story'  and read the text to the students. When they have finished reading/listening to the rhyme, prompt discussion by asking the following 'Simple Simon Story' questions:

  1. Who is the producer in the rhyme? [The pie-man]
  2. What is the pie-man selling? [Pies, cakes, muffins, etc.]
  3. Who is the consumer in the rhyme? [Simon]
  4. What did Simon want to do? [Buy a pie.]
  5. How much would Simon have to pay for the pie? [A penny]
  6. Do you think Simon bought the pie? [No, he didn't have a penny.]
  7. What other goods and services do consumers buy from producers? [Toys, clothing, automobiles, houses, music, etc.]
  8. Name some producers and tell what they provide for consumers. [School librarians help teachers and students find books, cooks prepare meals for diners, nurses take care of sick people, etc.]

Can you distinguish between the consumers and producers in this activity? Discuss the questions as a class then let the students work independently on the 'Producers Use Resources' activity.


  1. Have the students complete the 'Consumer or Producer' activity online or print the worksheet. (Check their answers using the answer sheet provided.)
  2. Have the students draw a picture or write a few sentences telling a story about a producer providing a good or service to a consumer.


Consumers and producers need each other. Consumers need producers to make the goods and services they buy and use. Producers need consumers to buy the goods and services they want to sell.


  • “This lesson worked well with my developmental primary students. I could not use the interest, but the idea and the worksheet were very helpful. They caught on to the "consumer, producer" easily with this rhyme. Thanks!”

    Janet O., FL   POSTED ON March 25, 2004

  • “The students really liked this lesson. They enjoyed the Simple Simon Rhyme and were able to answer all of the questions.”

    Debbie M., Jamaica Plain, MA   POSTED ON October 6, 2005

  • “I love this lesson. It was just exactly what our students needed. I loved the way you all integrated a classic rhyme with a difficult topic. This made the lesson fun and easy to understand. Everything needed for a successful lesson was provided in an organized and functional format. Thanks for your hard work and dedication. Keep the lessons coming.”

    Martha Martinez, Roma, TX   POSTED ON October 13, 2005

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  • “Such a cute way for the kids to learn about the various things needed in producing an item! The nursery rhyme is adorable!”

    Sara E., Fayetteville, AR   POSTED ON February 18, 2009

  • “Easy to use for every grade. Even the preK were excited and understood what I was trying to teach. Thank You.”

    JoAnn L, Bronx, NY   POSTED ON November 10, 2009

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