With Econ and Me, teachers can teach economic concepts to 7- to 10-year-olds; help students gain insight into today’s world; help students make reasoned decisions; and reinforce language arts, mathematics, and problem-solving skills.
Grade Levels: Primary-5
Resource Types: Videos, PDF
Scarcity occurs when people can’t have everything they want and must make choices. Econ tells Sean and his friends that they have an economic problem—a scarcity of space. Deciding to build a clubhouse, they find they also have a scarcity of wood. The swing set is a resource that could support a clubhouse.
Opportunity cost is the most valuable alternative people give up when making a choice. Jennifer sees that the swing set was her opportunity cost for choosing the clubhouse. When the children can’t fit all their furniture in, Econ’s “decision tree” leads them to keep a bookcase and identify a table as their opportunity cost.
It’s important to consider the benefits of each opportunity in relation to its cost. Econ tells the children that they can use their $4.00 to buy goods, save their money, or pay someone to perform a service. Three decide to spend their limited income, but Tanya saves hers for the amusement park.
Producers combine resources to make goods and services, considering costs and benefits. The children decide to earn money to go to the amusement park with Tanya by putting on a play involving neighborhood children.
When Tom C. and Sean arrive late for rehearsal, saying that their small jobs don’t matter, Econ explains the concept of interdependence with the example of an amusement park, where the enjoyment of every visitor depends on everyone who works there. The program closes with the successful production of The Incredible Econ.
This teacher’s guide includes program summaries, discussion questions, student activities, and reproducible handouts.