3 rd grade unit on united states economics l.
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3 rd Grade Unit on United States Economics. Designed by Mark Caponigro. Lesson Flow Chart. Sample Lesson. Project Overview.

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3 rd Grade Unit on United States Economics

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Presentation Transcript
project overview
Project Overview
  • This comprehensive learning unit, designed for a 3rd grade teacher, effectively engages students in activities centered around how economic terms opportunity cost, scarcity, price, needs, wants, goods, services, resources, profit, loss, supply, and demand influence economic decision-making. This unit was deigned for use by my client, Sally Hollyfield, a fellow third grade teacher at Cedar Hill Elementary in Lawrenceville, GA. Per her request, and by using the Elaboration Theory learning model, I utilized existing software, hardware, and media-based technologies available at the school to implement the unit. These included the use of web-based instructional programs such as Brain Pop and other internet based games, tutorials, and WebQuests; the AVerKey projection system, computers in the three labs in the school, and the desktop, laptop, television, and VCR player available in her classroom. While I assisted Ms. Hollyfield in implementing as much of the unit as possible prior to CRCT testing, it was my goal (and her understanding) that she would be able to take this pre-designed unit and fully implement it in future years without assistance. Sally is very happy with what she has used, she feels the unit as a whole is a success, and she can’t wait to use it fully next year!
aks and gps standards
AKS and GPS Standards

Gwinnett County Public Schools (AKS) and State of Georgia Department of Education (GPS, QCC)

standards are referenced during the execution of this unit. The following economics standards

required in third grade are covered in their entirety:

  • AKS:

3SS_C1999-2 Describe the economic system used in the United States today (QCC, ITBS).

Indicators of Achievement:

2a. Recognize taxes as a way for a community to collect money and provide services.

2b. Distinguish between goods and services.

2c. Distinguish between producers and consumers. Consider needs/wants, occupations, volunteer workers, and public services.

  • GPS:

SS3E1 The student will describe the four types of productive resources:

a. Natural (land)

b. Human (labor)

c. Capital (capital goods)

d. Entrepreneurship (used to create goods and services)

  • SS3E2 The student will explain that governments provide certain types of goods and services in a market economy and pay for these through taxes and will describe services such as schools, libraries, roads, police/fire protection, and military.
  • SS3E3 The student will give examples of interdependence and trade and will explain how voluntary exchange benefits both parties.

1.Define key terms including: economics, interdependence, opportunity cost, currency, price, supply, demand, needs, wants, capital, goods, services, benefits, scarcity, producer, consumer, entrepreneurship, and resource. (Knowledge)

2.Describe: 1. the economic system used in the United States today, 2. services used such as schools, libraries, roads, police/fire protection, and military, 3. the four types of productive resources. (Comprehension)

3.Classify the difference between goods and services and between producers and consumers by considering wants/needs, occupations, volunteer workers, and public services. (Application)

4.Explain that governments provide certain types of goods and services in a market economy and pay for these through taxes. (Analysis)

5.Propose why it is important for our government to tax its population as a way to collect money, provide services, and build communities. (Synthesis)

6.Choose examples of interdependence and trade and will explain how voluntary change benefits both parties. (Evaluation)


Define needs and wants through the set up of a classroom economy where students are paid & fined. Students will complete “Find someone who” activity.

Discuss the terms goods and services in a whole group setting using a designated read aloud. Distinguish between the two concepts and reiterate that both are things people want.

Role play various services provided in the American economy in a variety of ways. Compare services to goods produced through other types of employment.

Illustrate a sign advertising a product or service. Discuss what producers and consumers are and how they relate to goods, services, and resources.

Identify the three types of resources (human, capital, and natural) in a designated class read aloud.

Categorize classroom/real world jobs according to the resources involved. Students will distinguish themselves from others by filing out a “job” application.

Investigate goods and services produced and resources used in the immediate community through a business employee interview.

Compose (participate in) a role-play activity “To Choose is to Refuse” that develops grasp of terms currency (cash, checks, credit cards), supply, demand, and scarcity & answers, “Can we get everything we want?” One must work, make money, or trade (defined in role-play).

Practice making choices in three categories (food, games, and toys) in order to define and apply the term opportunity cost.

Create a product (a hamburger, for example) and identify the three resources needed to make it (human- cooking and combining ingredients, capital- making ketchup from tomatoes, natural- beef, grain for bread).

Choose an item to construct (goods or services) and replicate Include how it's made, the cost, descriptions, and resources used.

Defend choices made regarding what to buy/not to buy at the Market Day. Refer to desired items, items that were too expensive, a good deal, and just right.

learning model
Learning Model

An Elaboration Theory model will be used to implement this unit. Elaboration Theory, coined by Dr. Charles Reigeluth of Indiana University, is an embedded theory of the Cognitivist paradigm. Through the use of this theory, knowledge is presented in a sequential order from least complex to greatest. Concepts are presented in layers, where each layer builds from the previous. Acting as a facilitator of knowledge, the teacher presents lessons in a way that each subsequent lesson is elaborated on and therefore integrated into the current lesson. Background knowledge and clarity are reinforced through the revisiting of previous concepts during each lesson, allowing more intricate concepts to be introduced at each stage in the process.

There are seven major strategy components of Elaboration Theory, all of which have been incorporated into the unit lessons:

1. An elaborative sequence

2. Learning prerequisite sequences

3. Summary

4. Synthesis

5. Analogies

6. Cognitive strategies

7. Learner control

essential questions
Essential Questions

Lesson 1: What is Economics and why is it important to me?

Lesson 2: What are goods and services?

Lesson 3: What are producers and consumers? What is profit and loss?

Lesson 4: What is an economic resource? What purpose do they serve in a market economy?

Lesson 5: How does supply compare to demand? What if a good or resource is scarce? What does opportunity cost mean? What is the difference between a want and a need?

Lesson 6: What is interdependence and how does it affect me? I know what a market is, but what is a market economy?