Financial Literacy: Needs, Wants, and Opportunity Costs


In this lesson, students will learn the difference between needs and wants and how advertising influences our purchasing decisions.

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In our fast-paced, consumer-driven society, it’s more important than ever for students to understand the basics of financial literacy. This lesson will teach students the difference between needs and wants, and how advertising can influence our purchasing decisions. They’ll also learn why waiting to purchase something is often a good economic strategy. And finally, they’ll comprehend the economic theory of opportunity costs by comparing the costs and benefits of individual choices. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to identify positive and negative incentives that influence economic decisions.

Additional information


5th Grade, 6th Grade



State Educational Standards

NCSS.D2.ECO.1.3-5, NCSS.ECO.2.3-5, & NCSS.D2.ECO.10.3-5

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of
most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact
your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.