Lesson Plan

TOPIC: Production, Distribution, and Consumption in a Free-Market
CREATORS: Daneen Greer, Maria Mavridis, Jennifer Morris, Andrea Smith, Barbara West




To explain how a free-market economic system works, as well as other economic systems, to coordinate and facilitate the exchange, production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. 


  1. Students will be divided into groups of five or six.
  2. Each group will be given a tin can and some decorative materials.
  3. Students will discuss and plan what they will make with their materials. One student in each group will be the secretary and record the information discussed.
  4. Students will establish ways to make the product, sell it, and what they will do with the profits.
  5. Students will begin to construct their own products.
  6. Each group will present its product explaining what it is, how it was made, how it will be sold and to whom and how the profits will be spent.
  7. Each group will auction off its products and the remaining groups will bid on them.


Students will be evaluated on the basis of their presentations. If they include all of the necessary points in their presentation, including production, distribution, and consumption, then they will pass the assignment. Students will also be evaluated on the degree of effort and creativity they put forth on their projects. 


Kiser, Kenneth. Wester's New World Dictionaries

Michigan Framework for Social Studies Education: Content Standards

Schug, Mark C. (May/June 1996). Introducing children to economic reasoning: Some beginning lessons. The Social Studies, 87.

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