Hi! We are knee deep into our classroom economics unit, and my students are learning so much. This week we had to overcome a serious problem of scarcity...there just weren't enough Wonka Pixie Stix to go around. In a classroom full of hungry kiddoes, this can be a HUGE problem!
Using large pieces of paper and markers, students brainstormed ways to deal with this classroom issue of scarcity. I love the answers they come up with. For example, students suggested that I hold a popcorn eating contest or host a chess tournament.
We discussed how allocation mechanisms are used to deal with problems of scarcity, and these mechanisms fall into a few major categories. We also looked at the positives and negatives of each mechanism, and I am so proud of the critical thinking my students were doing.
For example, we discussed the idea of allocating resources based on need. One of my 3rd graders said, "Mrs. Bryant, this can be a good thing if you have resources to share, but I think it would be really bad to be the person in need." :( Such compassion in my little ones...I love it!
My favorite to explain, of course, is the idea of letting a planner decide how to divide a given set of resources. I told the children that this is what Santa has to do to my Sadiebug's Christmas list every year. She includes about 150 things she wants, and he decides 10-12 that are best suited for her. ;-P
If you are interested in any of these resources or ideas, you can check out my complete Classroom Economics packets at TpT and Teachers Notebook.
Also, a sweet friend told me that an awesome economics video series (Econ and Me) is available for free at vimeo.com. I love it!!!! Shannon :-) http://vimeo.com/9405278