What's your favorite weather day? Sunny, windy, rainy, snowy, or stormy? Today's lesson will show how we can learn economics from the weather. Can we really learn economics from the weather? The economic forecast predicts some percentage chance of success.
Do you ever watch the weather forecast to help you decide how to dress for school or activities? Does the weather outside affect the things you like to do outside? Do you have clothes you wear for certain weather days? Are there certain foods and activities you like to enjoy on different weather days? In this lesson, you are going to learn economics from the weather.
What is your favorite weather day?
If today was your favorite weather day, what would you need or want?
Talk to other students in your class about their favorite weather day and make a graph of the favorite weather day for students in your class.
Today you will learn economics from the weather.
Today we are going to learn about economic wants. Economic wants are desires that can be satisfied by consuming a good (an object), a service (an action), or a leisure activity.
Let's review goods and services. Goods are objects or things that we can use, enjoy, or consume to satisfy our wants. A few examples of goods include toys, books, clothes, food, and games. Services are actions that satisfy consumers' wants. Someone cutting your hair, mowing your lawn, or cleaning your teeth would be examples of services.
First, let's meet Suzy. Suzy loves sunny days. She wants to be dressed for the sunny day, so she will enjoy being outside. Would Suzy want a coat or jacket? What would be an economic want Suzy might have that would satisfy her want to be dressed for the sunny day?
If Suzy is thirsty, what economic want might satisfy her thirst?
Imagine that Suzy has an economic want to play outside on a sunny day. Would she want a pair of snow skis? Think of some goods that might satisfy Suzy's economic wants. What might satisfy Suzy's economic want for something to play?
Let's pretend that Suzy and her family are at the beach. What services might Suzy's family want to help them enjoy their stay at the beach?
Now, let's meet Sam. Sam loves winter weather. He loves a day when it is cold and snowing.
What is an economic want that Sam might have to satisfy his desire to stay warm while playing outside?
Do you think Sam would want a swimsuit to stay warm while playing in the snow? Why or why not?
What are some goods that might satisfy Sam's want for something to eat or drink on a cold, wintry day?
Let's think about Sam's family. What are some services that Sam's family might want if it were snowing to satisfy their want to be safe and warm during the snowy weather?
If Randy's favorite type of weather is a rainy day, what economic wants might Randy list?
It is important to remember that people have different economic wants. Sometimes it is just personal choice. Sometimes it is because of the weather. The economic wants are not right or wrong. It is a decision each person makes after he or she thinks about the good and bad points of each good or service.
Click on the link to meet Sid, the Science Kid at pbskids.org/sid/weatherwheel.html . You will be challenged to determine if Sid's economic wants are based on the weather. Click on the weather wheel, and then select the goods Sid would want for that weather day. When you have chosen the goods, click on the check mark to see how satisfied Sid is with your suggestions.
Today you learned economics from the weather. Let's review what you have learned.
What is an economic want?
Do we have the same economic wants every day?
If Rosa goes out on a rainy day, what are two economic wants that Rosa might have to stay dry in the rain?
If Stan goes out on a sunny day, what are three economic wants that might satisfy Stan's thirst?
If it's a snowy day, would you want a pair of flip flops or snow boots to keep your feet warm? Why?
If Anita's family is on a vacation in a snowy location, what services might Anita's family want?
Your teacher will give you a blank piece of paper.
Draw a picture of yourself on the page playing outside in your favorite type of weather.
Circle two goods that are a part of your favorite play day.
Describe one service that you could use during your favorite day; going to an amusement park on a sunny day, going to a movie on a rainy day, etc.
- Think about your drawing because you will share it with your class, and your teacher will make a bulletin board to show your great work.
Science and Math Connections:
Your teacher will select a time each day for you and your classmates to record the temperature outside your classroom. You will graph the results.
- Investigate the career of a meteorologist. Research the capital resources a meteorologist uses to do his/her job. Invite a meteorologist to class and have him or her share what a day is like as a meteorologist and how math, science, economics, and writing skills are important to his/her job.
Some fun weather websites to visit:
www.k-3learningpages.net/web%20weather.htm – There are many weather related activities on this site.
www.weatherwizkids.com This link is made possible by meteorologist Crystal Wicker.
Literature Links: Look for these and other great weather books in the library. Be sure to find economics as you read!
The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting by Mark Breen. Ideals, 2008.
Oh Say Can You Say What's the Weather Today? by Tish Gabe. Random House, 2004.
The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm: A Book About Weather by Nancy White, Scholastic, 2000.
Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons. Holiday House, 1992.
What Will the Weather Be? by Lynda DeWitt. Collins, 1993.
Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12