Table of Contents
- Lesson 1: A Season of Goods
This lesson focuses on goods and services (economics) and basic operations (mathematics). The students review the four seasons of the year and brainstorm goods and services that people often purchase during each season. The students then participate in a matching game, pairing goods and services according to the seasons. Finally, the students work on an activity that requires them to act as consumers on a budget and make decisions to purchase goods and services.
- Lesson 2: Choices, Choices
This lesson focuses on decision making (economics) and introduces surveying as a method of data collection (mathematics). After analyzing data on a sample topic, the students use a decision-making grid to help them rank career choices and create fractions using the survey data. You can use this lesson as part of a career unit. It focuses on math-related careers, but you can modify it to cover all types of careers if this fits better into the grade-level curriculum.
- Lesson 3: What's Hot! What's Not!
This lesson focuses on exchange and trade (economics) and mean, median and temperatures (mathematics). The students review how to read temperatures on a thermometer and discuss activities associated with various temperatures. They estimate temperatures and find the median and mean of a group of temperatures. They participate in a trading simulation and experience the economic principle that voluntary exchange increases satisfaction.
- Lesson 4: Pizza on a Budget
This lesson focuses on budgeting (economics) and basic operations (mathematics). The students participate in a mouth-watering budget activity while they use estimating skills and practice identifying costs and benefits. Using a budget work sheet, they work in small groups to plan a class pizza party. They review basicoperations skills using money as they make decisions about refreshments for the party.
- Lesson 5: The Math Factory
This lesson focuses on productivity (economics) and multiplication (mathematics). The students learn about physical capital and human capital as they create multiplication-fact review cards. In the first production round, groups of students produce as craftspeople and as specialists. In the second round, they continue to produce as craftspeople and specialists, but they also receive information that helps them to increase their human capital - their skills and knowledge - and their productivity. In the third round, the students get scissors; and this tool, along with their prior experience, once again increases their human capital and productivity.
- Lesson 6: Bookmark Profit
This lesson focuses on profit (economics) and basic operations (mathematics). Working in small groups, the students act as companies and produce bookmarks. They decide which resources to purchase to produce their bookmarks. They calculate their costs of production and display their bookmarks for the class. The students then act as consumers and "buy" bookmarks. Based on their "sales," the student companies compute their profit or loss.
- Lesson 7: Go Fly a Kite
This lesson focuses on resources and barter (economics) and geometry (mathematics). After reviewing the concept of bartering, the students roll a four-sided dice to gather some of the resources they will need to build a tetrahedron kite, which is based on the shape of a platonic solid. Then they barter to get the rest of the materials they will need. During this process, the students identify the characteristics of intermediate goods and use these goods to build their kite.
- Lesson 8: Doughnut Dreaming
This lesson focuses on demand (economics) and line graphs (mathematics). The students use a class survey to collect data about the quantity demanded of doughnuts at different prices. They use this data to construct a line graph. They discuss the law of demand and apply it to the graph to understand that at lower prices, the students will purchase more doughnuts.
- Lesson 9: How Much Time?
This lesson focuses on opportunity cost (economics) and graphs (mathematics). The students review terms related to measuring time and convert a time schedule into a pie chart, or circle graph. The students use the circle graph to assist them in making decisions about using time wisely to satisfy the requirements of a school-day schedule, and they consider the opportunity cost of their decisions.
- Lesson 10: Bunches of Brownies
This lesson focuses on resources (economics) and fractions (mathematics). The students use measuring cups to determine equivalent fractions for a recipe. Thinking economically, the students identify the productive resources they would use to make brownies and categorize them as natural resources, human resources or capital goods (resources). The students work in groups to decide how they would divide a pan of brownies equally. Finally, the students determine how much of each ingredient they would need if they wanted to produce additional batches of brownies.
- Lesson 11: Plenty of Pennies
This lesson focuses on interest (economics) and percents (mathematics). The students use pennies to help them compute percents. They convert percent to decimals and figure interest amounts on savings or borrowed money. They role-play to understand that interest is payment for the use of money, and they discover that all financial choices have a cost.
- Lesson 12: Birdly Exchange
This lesson focuses on barter, money and characteristics of money (economics) and fractions and ratios (mathematics). The students will role-play a bartering activity and participate in trading simulations using feathers and birdles (a form of paper money) as mediums of exchange. They will compare their trading experiences to decide why medium of exchange is an important function of money. The students should have some grasp of fractions and ratios, because the lesson introduces exchange rate as a ratio and includes an activity in which the students calculate the exchange rate between U.S. dollars and birdles.