Determining the difference between wants and needs is simple, right? It must be because even students as young as kindergarten complete wants and needs worksheets, Smartboard exercises, or even card games. However, is classifying wants and needs really that cut and dried? When classifying wants and needs, students soon recognize that there is a great deal of generality when it comes to classifying needs. Making decisions based on wants and needs can be frustrating. It is better to help students recognize that choosing according to set goals will lead them to better outcomes. They should also recognize that choosing incorrectly leads to negative consequences that will help guide them to a better choice the next time. In this lesson, students define goods and services. They listen to a brief story and then learn the difference between wants and needs. They discuss items mentioned in the story to try to determine which ones are wants and which ones are needs. They will discover that it is often difficult to determine the difference between a want and a need. An activity that asks them to select clothing will help them to learn how to make choices using criteria important to them when making decisions. Also appropriate for grades K-2.
This lesson received the 2017 Curriculum Gold Award from the National Association of Economic Educators.
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