Music, Maestro, Please: Show Business and the Factors of Production
The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania recently opened a $300 million dollar center for the performing arts, the Kimmel Center. This lesson was developed for a special teacher workshop to incorporate economics and the arts to teach kids about Productive Resources. The lesson illustrates the many kinds of goods and services that must come together so that the show can go on!
When you go to a movie or see a theater show, have you ever wondered about the variety of jobs and skills people must have to make the performance a reality? What about the variety of material objects that are necessary for the "show to go on?"
Recently, the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania opened a $300 million dollar center for the performing arts, https://www.kimmelcenter.org/. For this lesson you are going to take a virtual tour of the new center and then think about all the productive resources that must come together to create the magic you experience enjoying the performing arts.
- Explain the three types of productive resources necessary to produce a good or a service.
- Identify and categorize examples of human resources, natural resources, and capital resources necessary to produce a musical theater production.
- Recognize that the production of any product or service requires a combination of the factors of production.
- Develop skills and appreciation in understanding of the arts, language arts, listening, speaking, reading, writing, and cooperation with others.
- "Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts": This website contains vivid graphics of a dynamic new facility in Philadelphia.
- Resources Visual: Provides visuals designed to help students understand productive, human, natural, and capital resources.
Arts Lesson-Visual 1
- Student Handout 1: This is a worksheet designed to help students identify and sort the human resources necessary to produce a musical show.
Student Handout 1
- Student Handout 2: This is a worksheet designed to help students identify and sort the capital resources necessary to produce a musical show.
Student Handout 2
- Student Handout 3: This is a worksheet designed to help students identify and sort the natural resources necessary to produce a musical show.
Student Handout 3
Explain to the class that it takes many people–doing many different jobs and using many kinds of tools and equipment–to produce the products and services students use. Ask:
- What kinds of work must people must perform in order to teach a lesson? [Planning, introducing, demonstrating, explaining, monitoring, assisting, encouraging, evaluating.]
- What kinds of materials (goods) do we need to teach this lesson? [Paper, pencils, desks, blackboard, overhead projector, etc.]
What natural resources or raw materials are required for this school to exist? [air, Land (the school is built on land), trees (to build the desks), etc.]
Explain that these things are called productive resources. Productive resources are required to produce what economists call a good or service. Arts Lesson-Visual1 provides visuals designed to help students understand productive, human, natural, and capital resources. The visual is divided up into four parts:
- Show and discuss Visual 1A Productive Resources: Goods and Services. (Images show a conductor. The "Goods" images show a piano and a saxophone. The "Services" images show a person in a sound booth and a person fixing a piano.)
- Show and discuss Visual 1B Human Resources. (Images show 2 actors on stage.)
- Show and discuss Visual 1C Natural Resources. (Image shows land, sky, and a tree.)
Show and discuss Visual 1D Capital Resources. (Image shows the stage of a theatre house.)
Explain that the production of any good or service requires some combination of these three different resources. Ask students to think of an example of productive resources necessary to produce or build a house. Have the students describe an event, activity, or product in their own lives that uses all of these different resources.
Allow time for the class to discuss if any of them have ever been to a musical theater production. Allow time to discuss what they saw, the work involved in producing a musical, and the equipment needed to produce the show.
Tell the class they are going to work in groups to identify and sort out the human, natural, and capital resources necessary to produce a musical show.
Divide the class into three groups. (You may also divide the class into groups in any multiple of three: 6 groups, 9 groups, etc.)
- Determine which groups are going to identify human resources, which groups are going to identify natural resources, and which groups are going to identify capital resources.
- Distribute the appropriate student handouts to each group: Student Handout 1 Human Resources, Student Handout 2 Capital Resources, and Student Handout 3 Natural Resources.
- Review the instructions and the list with all the students making sure to define terms they may be unfamiliar with.
Allow the groups time to analyze the list and to categorize their assigned resource.
- Debrief the class by having students from each group write their list of resources. Use the chalkboard that you have prepared with the appropriate headings: Human Resources, Capital Resources, and Natural Resources.
Answers to Student Handout 1 – Human Resources: ticket sellers, sound technicians, stage hands, the conductor, song writers, ushers, carpenters, costume designers, cleaning crew, musicians, choreographer, lighting technicians, set designers, singers.
Answers to Student Handout 2 – Capital Resources: music/songs, microphones, silk worms (students might include silk worms as a capital resource), sound system, heating system, costumes, seats, conductor's baton, curtains, drums, lights, carpets, violins, flutes, air conditioners, lumber.
Answers to Student Handout 3 – Natural Resources: wood, silk worms, land, stone, ore, silver, water, sand to make glass, crude oil, air.
What did the human resources, natural resources, and capital resources come together to produce? [The human resources, natural resources, and capital resources came together to produce the show.]
Give examples of people doing other kinds of work. What are they producing or what services are they providing? [Examples of people doing other kinds of work and what they produce or provide are: doctor producing healthy people, musician producing music, clown producing laughter, etc.]
Give examples of natural resources. [Some examples of natural resources are: air, land, stone, trees, etc.]
- Give examples of capital goods needed to produce toys or a McDonald's Happy Meal. [Some examples of capital goods needed to produce toys or a McDonald's Happy Meal are: plastic, cardboard, buildings, stoves, booths, play areas, etc.]
Explore the World Wide Web to find performing arts centers in your community and/or state. Write a three paragraph summary on one of the performing arts centers that you find. In your essay please include; upcoming events, ticket prices, and identify examples of human, natural, and capital resources necessary to produce the upcoming events.
Place students in groups to list the human, capital, and natural resources necessary to produce each of the following:
- A sporting event (football game, baseball game, swim meet, etc.)
- A birthday party
- A trip to Disney World
- A batch of chocolate chip cookies