Teaching economics to elementary students can be tricky. So, today, I want to explore how learning about goods and services will help your students’ understanding of the economy! These activities and resources can be included in your elementary economics unit.
Stock Your Class Library With Economics Books to Explore
First, you will need a few books to keep on hand. These three books are great informational texts on goods and services. They can be used as references, read alouds, partner texts, or in small group and center activities. I would recommend having opportunities for your students to access these books several times throughout your economics unit, and even after.
Start with Goods & Services
When teaching young students about economics, they will need to learn about goods and services. Create an anchor chart with a line down the middle. Record a definition of each term and spend some time facilitating a discussion of what each term means. Provide a few examples. Then, allow students to turn and talk, adding to the collection of examples as a group. *Remember, you can always refer back to these charts and add to them throughout the year! It is a great way to reaccess knowledge and reactivate understanding.
Additionally, have students read *and write* about goods and services. Incorporating reading and writing activities will be helpful for students’ understanding of the concepts individually. Therefore, solidifying their knowledge as a whole. So, add informational reading passages that have graphic organizers, writing activities, or comprehension activities that follow.
You know how much I love BrainPop! There is an excellent video on Goods and Services. The video highlights important terms and makes it very easy for young students to understand the difference between a good and a service. Plus, the video has great real-life examples that students will connect with. The real-life connections will help students engage in the content!
Shift to Producers and Consumers
Now, it’s time to discuss producers and consumers. Students should be able to tie goods and services to this new concept. Create another simple anchor chart with a line down the middle. Record the two terms and their meanings. Facilitate another discussion about examples of producers and consumers. Again, students can turn and talk to come up with their own examples of producers and consumers to add to the chart. *Teacher tip: you can pass out the sticky notes from the goods & services chart and have students come up with the producers or consumers that would be connected to each example!
Lastly, strengthen your students’ understanding by having them apply their skills and display their knowledge. In each of the activities above, students will be using multi-content skills. They can apply their understanding of producers and consumers to identify and describe or compare and contrast! These also come in handy at this point in your unit in assessing who needs additional instruction and who is ready for the next steps!
Suggested Resource for Your Goods and Services Unit
All of the printable activities in this post can be found in this no-prep pack! The economics unit comes with both printable and digital formats of reading and writing activities, sorting, cut and paste activities, and more!