Scarcity and Choices Grade One

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1 Ohio Standards Connection: Economics Benchmark A Explain how the scarcity of resources requires people to make choices to satisfy their wants. Indicator 1 Explain that wants are unlimited and resources are scarce, thereby forcing individuals to make choices. Lesson Summary: In this lesson students will gain an understanding of the scarcity of resources and how it affects the choices that we make in our everyday lives. Students will participate in a variety of activities such as literature analysis, shopping, journal writing and class discussions. Estimated Duration: Two hours and 30 minutes to three hours Commentary: In this lesson students are participating in a variety of hands-on activities that relate to real-life experiences. This lesson is good to do later in the school year after relationships have been formed so that students are not upset by the potential unfairness of their choices. The activities in this lesson can be done over the course of a few days, depending on student needs. One field test participant who taught this lesson commented: I love how the lesson is extremely studentcentered. The activities focus around the tasks that they need to complete in order to reach a conclusion. Teacher modeling is provided throughout the lesson, but individual time to reflect and writing is also provided. Pre-Assessment: Conduct the pre-assessment as a whole class activity. Provide three sets of items that will interest students (e.g., pencils, stickers, homework passes): o The number of items in one set should contain enough that each student could have one; o The amount of items in the other two sets should be significantly less than the number of students in the classroom. Ask students what their first choice of items would be. Record the students choices on chart paper. Randomly select students to receive their first choice. When you run out of a particular item, ask students what they choose as a second or third choice. 1

2 Ask students to explain how they made their choice. o What was your first choice? o If you didn t get your first choice, why didn t you? Scoring Guidelines: Record the students answers regarding their choice as they dictate it to you (word for word just like a running record). Transfer this data onto a yes/no type of checklist to indicate whether students understand that their choice (or a friend s choice if a student received his/her first choice) was affected by the scarcity of the items. Post-Assessment: Give students a paper doll, pretending it s a friend, relative or some other person they know and ask them to shop for that person. Give each student a predetermined amount of money. Have students purchase paper pictures of items for their person such as a house, food, clothes, car, etc. Instructional Tip: This can be done at a learning center or you can set up a store. Limit certain shopping items to provide all students with the same experience of making choices and the scarcity of resources. Make sure students know that money is not a resource; the purchased items are the resources. Ask students to write or draw in their journals to answer the following questions: 1. What did you buy and why did you buy it? 2. Was there anything that you wanted to buy for your person but you didn t buy it? If so, why didn t you buy it for your person? Scoring Guidelines: Assess journal entries to monitor student s understanding of how the scarcity of resources affected the choices that they made. Appropriate responses might include, but not be limited to: I wanted to buy a bike but there weren t any more so I had to buy a skateboard; I got everything I wanted because I shopped early, before we ran out of things in the store; I couldn t buy a car because I didn t have enough money. Award one point for each question answered correctly for a maximum of two points. Instructional Procedures: Day One 1. Read aloud a children s book about a main character who wants an item but there is not enough of it. 2

3 2. Discuss the vocabulary words (wants, resources, choices) in the story. Use context clues in the story and ask the students what they think these words mean and record their answers. Keep a running vocabulary list displayed in the classroom. 3. Discuss how the scarcity of resources in the story affected the choices of the main character. Facilitate the discussion by asking such questions as: What did the character want? Did he/she get his/her first choice? Was another choice made? Why did the character make the choice that he/she made? 4. Ask students to write/dictate a scene that tells what the story is about. Have students illustrate their writings. Day Two 5. Repeat the instructional procedures for Day One using a different children s book. 6. Present the following scenario: Leah wanted a pair of red shoes for her dance recital. Most of the girls in town would be participating and she wanted to look like everyone else. On Saturday, she went to the local department store. There were no red shoes to be found. She went to the new shoe store, too. They were also sold out. 7. Ask students to discuss what they think Leah did and explain why this choice was necessary. Ask such questions as: What do you think (predict) Leah did? Why do you think Leah made the choices she made? Did she have to make another choice? Why was there a scarcity of red shoes? 8. Ask students to draw and write about their predictions. 9. Close the lesson by having students share and display their writings and drawings. Differentiated Instructional Support: Instruction is differentiated according to learner needs to help all learners either meet the intent of the specified indicator(s) or, if the indicator is already met, to advance beyond the specified indicator(s). Have students who need help with written language dictate their responses and have someone write for him or her. Record student responses instead of the written assignment. Have students who are working beyond the indicator set up a classroom store. Have students draw pictures and verbally answer questions as an option for assessments. Extensions: Invite community members who have a job buying/selling for a company to come and speak with the students. Create a store to be a learning center for a designated period of time and integrate it with mathematics concepts and skills. 3

4 Homework Options and Home Connections: Have students discuss with families their latest shopping trip and purchases. What was bought? Why was it purchased? Were there any items that you were unable to buy or had to substitute? Interdisciplinary Connections: English Language Arts Acquisition of Vocabulary Benchmark A: Use context clues to determine the meaning of new vocabulary. Indicator 1: Use knowledge of word order and in-sentence context clues to support word identification and to define unknown words while reading. Reading Process Benchmark A: Establish a purpose for reading and use a range of reading comprehension strategies to understand literary passages and text. Indicator 3: Visualize the information in texts and demonstrate this by drawing pictures, discussing images in texts or writing simple descriptions. Reading Applications: Literary Text Benchmark A: Compare and contrast plot across literary works. Indicator 1: Provide own interpretations of story, using information from the text. Writing Applications No Benchmark Indicator 4: Produce informal writings (e.g., messages, journals, notes and poems) for various purposes. Communication Benchmark A: Use active listening strategies to identify the main idea and to gain information from oral presentation. Indicator 1: Use active listening skills, such as making eye contact or asking questions. Mathematics Number, Number Sense and Operations Benchmark D: Determine the value of a collection of coins and dollar bills. Indicator 7: Determine the value of a small collection of coins (with a total value up to one dollar) using one or two different type coins, including pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. The Arts Visual Art Connections, Relationships and Applications Benchmark B: Use the visual arts as a means to understand concepts and topics studied in disciplines outside the arts. Indicator 2: Create a visual art product to increase understanding of a concept or topic studied in another content area. 4

5 Materials and Resources: The inclusion of a specific resource in any lesson formulated by the Ohio Department of Education should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Department of Education does not endorse any particular resource. The Web addresses listed are for a given site s main page, therefore, it may be necessary to search within that site to find the specific information required for a given lesson. Please note that information published on the Internet changes over time, therefore the links provided may no longer contain the specific information related to a given lesson. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students. For the teacher: Paper or plastic school money, items or pictures for classroom store, trade books, paper dolls, pictures of items to be purchased for paper dolls, chart paper. For the students: Pencils, journals. Vocabulary: wants resources choices scarcity limited unlimited Technology Connections: Use software that helps students to buy items and make change. Some math piggy bank activities can be found on the Internet. General Tips: Pictures from magazines can be used instead of actual items for class store or cut out to use in the students journals. Photocopied pictures of favorite characters can be used for paper dolls. Make sure to have plenty of school money to make change. Actual money (coins) can be used. Allow plenty of planning time to find book titles and clip art. 5

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