Lesson plan

Supply and Demand

Do you want an interactive lesson that puts all the decision making in the palm of your students' hands? Supply and demand is a fun, interactive, and hands on activity that will help your students understand economics on a smaller scale.
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Students will understand the impact of individual and group decisions at a local level, the concept of supply and demand, and how prices and product availability play into the demand of objects.

(10 minutes)
  • Tell your students that they are going to learn about supply and demand today.
  • Give your students an introductory an example such as You’re in the cereal aisle of a grocery store. You go to grab a box of Fruit Loops, but realize they are all out. You see the label where they normally are and notice that they are on sale for $1.79. You look at the surrounding labels and notice all the other cereal boxes are over $2. You realize that the Fruit Loops are all gone because by buying them other customers were getting a deal and saving money.
  • Have your class discuss this example.
(20 minutes)
  • Cover some basic topics with your students. Give examples that covers what happens when 1) there is an increase in demand, 2) demand exceeds supply, 3) supply exceeds demand, and 4) what can cause economic stability.
  • Using real life examples to show these relationships can improve understanding. Gas prices, water supply, supplies during a natural disaster, and careers in certain locations are good examples.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell the students that half of them will be given six apples and will become the sellers, and the other half will be given six $1 bills and will become the buyers.
  • Tell students the rules: 1) Students who are selling the apples can charge whatever they want for the apples. 2) Students who are buying the apples can shop around. 3) They will have 10 minutes to buy and sell the apples.
(10 minutes)
  • Once students are done with the activity, have them open up their journals and write "Supply and Demand" in the center.
  • Have them answer the following questions: 1) How many apples do you have? 2) How much money do you have? 3) What was hard about buying or selling? Explain your answer.
  • Enrichment: You could have these students come up with another activity that would help demonstrate the concept of supply and demand.
  • Support: Students who need some extra support could be paired up during the activity, and worked with in small groups to come to a conclusion.
(20 minutes)
  • Check your students' journal responses to check for understanding.
(10 minutes)
  • Have the students come back together to go over their findings.
  • Ask students to talk about the activity and what they liked and didn't like.
  • Note: If you have enough time, you may want to switch roles so that the students can be both the buyer and the seller. This will allow them to compare and contrast the roles in their journals.

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