State coordinators have opened up registration for local high school competitions that lead into CEE’s National Personal Finance Challenge and National Economics Challenge! Teams of three-to-four students with one teacher/coach compete in each subject for the national titles and cash prizes! Teachers, register today!
Click here for the National Economics Challenge
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Content Partner

Grade 3-5, 6-8

Costs and Benefits of Beans’ Decisions

Time: 45 mins,
Updated: February 11 2020,
Author: Rebecca Booth


Students will be able to:

  • Identify the economic concepts: Cost, Benefit, and Decision Making.
  • Distinguish if a statement is a cost or benefit when making a decision using a cost/benefit analysis.
  • Use a cost/benefit analysis to make a decision.
  • Explain their decision that was made when using a cost/benefit analysis.

In this economics lesson, students will make decisions using a cost-benefit analysis.


Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm tells a story about Beans Curry and his many decisions during the Great Depression. In Key West, Florida, there are very few jobs. Everyone is out for himself or herself including Beans. It is hard for Beans to earn a dime, and he does not want to be “winked” out of earning his fair share by a ‘lying adult’. His first scheme does not work well, so he keeps trying. Now, he must decide to remain penniless or break a few rules to earn an income. In this lesson, we will help Beans make decisions using a cost-benefit analysis.