Economics teaches students about the study of economics and what an economy is, and the difference between the two. Students will learn about goods and services and the concept of supply and demand. They will also learn to distinguish between needs and wants. They will understand that some things they want are just wants, but they are not necessities. Therefore, they are not needs.

The “Options for Lesson” section contains a fun suggestion to add to the lesson. You can visit the website listed there to open a Jeopardy game centered on needs versus wants. You can students play as individuals or in groups. The lesson suggests you start or end the lesson with this activity, but you are welcome to play it at any point. Feel free to get creative!

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What our Economics lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Economics introduces students to the basics of economy. They will learn to identify types of resources used to produce goods and services. They will also learn about the roles of producers and consumers in a free-market capitalist system. The lesson will teach them about the concept of supply and demand and its effect on producers and consumers. By the end, your students will have a solid understanding of how economics works.

There are two pages of content in this lesson. Students will learn first what economy means and what economics is. The lesson uses an example to explain how people figure out what to spend their money on. Food, water, and shelter are all necessities of life. However, other things, such as toys or pets or electronics, are not. Economics is basically the study of choosing what to spend limited resources on.

Students will learn about resources and how they are often limited. Everyone, however, has the resource of time. This lesson describes how time can be a great resource. It explains how sometimes people don’t have enough money to buy something. So instead of playing video games for an hour, they can mow a neighbor’s lawn for payment. That would be considered a good use of the resource of time. Additionally, the lesson explains the difference between needs and wants. Needs are necessities while wants are not essential.


Students will work alone for the activity portion of the lesson. The activity worksheet asks seven questions. Students will answer each of the questions and explain some of their answers.


The practice worksheet contains a table with three columns. The first column is for items. There are 15 rows of items listed. In the second column, students will mark whether the item is a need (N) or want (W). In the third column, they will explain the reason behind their answer.


For the homework assignment, students will fill out a table listing items they have consumed, or services they received in the last five days. They will mark whether the item was a good (G) or a service (S). They have to include at least seven services. Finally, they will have to explain whether a good or service can be both a need and a want.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade


Social Studies

State Educational Standards

NCSS.D2.ECO.3.3 – 5, NCSS.D2.ECO.6.6 – 8, NCSS.D2.ECO.3.6 – 8

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.

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It was a great intro lesson to the topic of Economics.