Grades 3-5, 6-8
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
Click here for the National Personal Finance Challenge
Students will learn that people respond predictably to positive incentives (rewards) and negative incentives (penalties). They will identify incentives in their daily lives at home and school. Students will discuss which incentives have worked to influence their decisions and why.
What Are Incentives?
When parents or teachers want you to behave in a certain way, they sometimes offer incentives to encourage you or influence you to make a choice. Offering incentives is one way to get people to do what you want. When a teacher offers stickers to students who finish their work on time, this is an incentive. When a parent offers ice cream to their children to finish their vegetables, this is an incentive. Incentives often work to influence people’s behavior. However, not all incentives work for all people. Let’s learn more about the incentives offered to you. Which incentives influence you? Which do not?
Activity 1: Incentives at Home & School
Let’s look at some common incentives found at home and in school. After you read the list below, brainstorm with your partner to come up with two more incentives at home and two more at school. Think about the incentives that your parents and teachers offer.
Incentives At Home
Incentives At School
Activity 2: Rewards & Penalties
Look above to the list of incentives at home and in school.
Positive Incentives make kids better off if they choose the correct behavior.
These are called rewards. Can you find the rewards above?
Negative incentives punish kids and leave them worse off if they do not choose the correct behavior. These are called penalties. Can you find the penalties above?
Read the stories below and discuss the questions with your partner.
Mr. Lopez told Brandon he had to clean his room to earn his allowance. Mr. Smith told Jacob to clean his room or he won’t be able play outside. Both parents want their children to choose to clean their rooms. They offered incentives to help influence their kids.
Mrs. Chun told the students that if they turned in their homework on time, they would each receive a new pencil. Mrs. Jones told her students that if their homework was not turned in, they could not go out to recess. Both teachers want the students to turn in homework. They are using different incentives to encourage their students to choose to do their homework.
Activity 3: Incentives: How Do They Influence You?
There are many incentives offered to you at home and school. You decide if the incentives will affect your behavior. Sometimes you will want to earn a positive incentive like extra recess, money, or stickers, and you will behave in a certain way to receive the incentive.
However, some incentive that does not interest you enough to make you try to earn it. Not all incentives work for all people. Let’s review what you have learned about incentives and find out which incentives influence you. Click here to complete and activity called "Incentives & You Activity"
Read the questions below and think about which incentives influence you. Record your responses on your printed activity sheet.
Now you recognize that incentives are used to influence your behavior and choices at home and at school. Think about incentives you have been offered and the choices you have made.
1. Class discussion:
2. On the back of their Interactive Activity papers, have the students write the answer to the following question: "Explain why certain incentives work and others do not work to influence you. Give specific examples and explain what caused you to make the choice you did."
Use the students’ worksheets, essay question, and their class participation to determine if students are able to:
Grades 3-5, 6-8