Lesson Plan

SUBJECT: Economics
TOPIC: Distribution of Goods
GRADE LEVEL: Elementary
CREATORS: Kevin Grammens, Mary Golec, Jeff Hill, Judy Aguilar, Shannon McDowell


To have students become aware that scarcity requires people to make choices when trying to satisfy their unlimited wants.





  1. Before the class starts, get 5-7 paper bags and put different amounts of an item in each bag. The items can include peanuts, gum, candy, fruit, and other items. In bag 1, one item should go in, bag 2 should have two items and so on.
  2. Divide the class into groups of 4 to 6 students.
  3. Discuss with the class what might be in the bags.
  4. Have each group select a recorder, time keeper, speaker and material person.
  5. The group recorder will need to fill out the Distribution Handout as the group moves through the questions.
  6. Hand out the bags. Do Not Open at this time.
  7. Give the groups 10-15 minutes to discuss, after they open the bags, several methods for distribution of the bags' contents and finally how they would distribute the contents among the group members in a way that is acceptable to all.



  1. Discuss the answers to questions on the distribution handout for each group.
  2. Have each group discuss the final method of distribution of the goods.
  3. Give the groups five minutes to discuss the idea of how scarcity affects their daily life then discuss the effects as a class.

Distribution Form


Group members (list names):


PROBLEMS we had with our ideas:



Case, K.E. and Fair, R.C. (1996). Principles of macroeconomics (4th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.

Cavin, R. (1978) A matter of money: What do you do with a dollar? New York: Phillips.

Children in the marketplace: Lesson plans in economics for grades 3 and 4. ( 1986) Joint Council on Economic Education. New York.

Faber, D.(1979) Wall Street: A story of fortunes and finance. New York: Harper & Row.

Maybury, R.(1993) What ever happened to penny candy? Placeville, CA: Bluestocking Press.

O'Toole, T. (1991) Global economics. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications.

Stattler, H.R. (1979) Dollars from dandelions: 101 ways to earn money. New York: Lothrup, Lee & Shepard.

Scott, E. (1985) Stocks and bonds, profits and losses: A quick look at financial markets. New York: Franklin Watts.

Theobald, R. (1987) The rapids of change: Social entrepreneurship in turbulent times. Indianapolis, IN: Knowledge Systems.

Wheeler, R.(1996) Teaching the ten themes of social studies. Torrance, CA: Frank Schaeffer Publications.

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