- How should people use what they have to get what they want?
Delaware State Standards
Integrated in the Instructional Strategies
- Economics Standard One K-3a: Students will understand that individuals and families with limited resources undertake a wide variety of activities to satisfy their wants.
English Language Arts
- ELA Standard 1.4 and 1.6 (pre K–4): Demonstrate oral language proficiency – conversations, collaborative group work.
- ELA Standard 4.4a (2-10): Using appropriate texts, students will be able to connect their own experiences to those of literary characters by using literature as a resource for shaping decisions.
- Mathematics Standard One (K-5) Numeric Reasoning: Develop the concept of multiplication by using models to count the number of groups
As consumers and producers, people use resources in different ways to satisfy their wants. Due to scarcity, societies must choose how to produce and allocate resources, goods and services in order to satisfy their wants. To do this, individuals and societies must answer three basic economic questions: What goods and services will be produced? How will these goods and services be produced? Who will consume them?
How the question of what to produce is answered depends on the availability of productive resources. Societies tend to produce goods and services when the resources needed for production are readily available and accessible. Size and skills of the labor pool, quality and quantity of natural resources and capital resources, and access to technology determine how goods and services are produced. Areas with poor capital resources, limited technology, and large populations tend to rely heavily on human resources in the production process using limited or poor quality tools and equipment. Countries with skilled labor, access to natural resources, and high quality capital resources use less labor and more machines and technology in the production process. In reality, the mix of human, natural, and capital resources that societies use fall somewhere in between labor or capital intensive economies.
Strategy 1Gathering Information: Think\Pair\Share
Ask the students:
- Think about how lemonade is made.
- Individually, list the materials necessary to make lemonade.
Students should then pair with another to compare lists. Finally, have students share their lists with the class. Compile the list for the class on a board or wall.
We are using lemonade as an example of a product that people make with resources. Tell the students:
- You will learn about producers and the three kinds of productive resources that are used to make things.
- In this example, the producer is the person who makes the lemonade, the person who brings together all of the things on our list – the productive resources. So the things on the list used to make lemonade are called productive resources.
- We call a person who makes a good or a service a producer, like the person who might make lemonade.
- Can you name some producers and tell what good or service they produce?
Pick one of the producers that students named and ask:
- How does that producer make their goods or provide their service?
- What productive resources are used?
When students initially learn new concepts or terms, it’s important to not just give a definition. An informal explanation or example provides a viable starting place for learning. In later strategies, students will refine their understanding and correct any misconceptions.
Add to the Word Wall: producer, productive resources.Check for Understanding = Formative Assessment
- Write down what producer and productive resources means. Tell your partner.
- How is your explanation different from your partner’s explanation?
Strategy 2Extending & Refining: Categorizing Divide the students into groups of 2-3. For each group, write the following terms (include any other valid suggestions from students) on index cards.
|lemon juice||large glass jar or pitcher|
|measuring cup||cup or drinking glass|
Tell students that anything that is used to make goods and services that people want are called productive resources. There are three kinds of productive resources: natural, human, and capital resources. Write the terms on the Word Wall.
- Natural resources are things from nature that can be used to make goods or services.
- Human resources are workers that are needed to make goods and services.
- Capital resources are things made by people that are used to make other goods or services.
For each group of 2-3, have students group the productive resources used to make lemonade into the three categories above. Conduct a class discussion once students are finished to help clear up any misconceptions about the three categories.
Note to Teacher: If it is not mentioned, ask students if there is anything missing from the list of productive resources used to make lemonade. Someone has to stir the lemonade with the spoon – it could be mechanical, but is probably a human resource.
Ask: What other examples of each kind of resource can you think of? Encourage students to look around the room to find examples. Keep a list for use in the next strategy.Check for Understanding = Formative Assessment
- What are some differences between the three types of productive resources:
Strategy 3Application: Non-Linguistic Representation
When you ask students to draw or graphically represent a vocabulary term, they are forced to think of it in a new way.
Maintain the groups of 2-3 students. Assign one student in each group to be the “group artist.” Give the group artist an index card with one of the following terms: human resources, productive resources, natural resources, capital resources. Tell the artist that he or she is to draw an explanation of the term without words or letters, and the rest of the group has to guess the term based on the drawing. (This strategy is similar to the board game Pictionary. Teachers may substitute the terms above for others more suitable to the class environment.)
Give each group an opportunity to continue until each student has been the group artist.
The teacher might choose one of the terms to model for the entire class. This shows that being a good artist isn’t as important as explaining with pictures.Check for Understanding = Formative Assessment
This picture shows a farm worker hauling apples with a tractor near Winchester, VA.
:USDA Online Photography Center, #95cs0648: CD0056-014
- What productive resources are used to produce apples? Be sure to explain why each resource is a natural, capital, or human resource.
- How would producing apples be different without capital resources? Explain your answer.