Exploring Needs and Wants

Students explore the economic concepts of needs and wants. They practice differentiating between needs and wants while considering why circumstances might make perspectives vary.


Budgeting for Needs

Students explore the concept of needs and wants by planning meals within a set budget. They participate in a simulation using play money in order to help them evaluate the most important purchases they need to make.


Investigating Prices in a Real Market

Students predict and investigate the prices of real items using Amazon.com. They explore why and how people can save their money to afford the things they want to buy. This lesson requires student pairs to have access to tech devices and Amazon.com, or another teacher-selected shopping site.


Saving, Spending, and Giving

Students explore the concepts of saving, spending, and giving through the book A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams. They reflect on this source to consider how they might spend, save, give, and earn money.


Money Wise (Checkpoint Assessment)

Through this Essential Question, students have explored a variety of economic concepts, including wants, needs, saving, spending, giving, and earning. This final lesson may be used as a checkpoint assessment of cumulative learning throughout this Essential Question. Here, students reflect upon their learning to imagine how they could choose to spend, save, and give money in the future. They explain how scarcity necessitates decision-making and why we can’t buy everything we want.


Meeting Needs and Wants

Image by Markus Spiske

Essential Question

Login to Save Content
Login to Save Content

Why can’t I have everything I want?

Students explore economic concepts: wants and needs, saving and spending, earning and giving. They practice working within a budget and consider how scarcity influences people's decision-making about how to spend, save, and give money.