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Lesson 1—Good or Service?

Overview: In order to better understand production, students first need to demonstrate an understanding of the concept that production can result in goods or services. Further, the idea of wants and needs is important in evaluating choices people around the world make, driving supply, demand, and production on a global scale. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the difference between goods and services by creating a database consisting of a variety of goods and services. Building on the Goods and Services database activity, students will extend their understanding of the concepts encapsulated in the database through the creation and presentation of a graphic representation of the data through a spreadsheet.

Curriculum Subject and Topic: Social Studies—Big Idea of Production
Estimated Duration: 90 minutes
Grade Level: 6

Curriculum Goals: Ohio Academic Content Standards

Lesson Objectives: Students will

National Educational Technology Standards for Students:



Motivational/Prepatory Activities

  1. Discuss with students that we pay for products, but some of these products are goods and some are services. Hold up several classroom objects and identify them as goods that were purchased. Tell students that a doctor’s visit and a haircut are examples of services that they may have had performed and paid for in the past.
  2. Have students share a couple examples of goods and a couple examples of services. Accept reasonable responses. List the acceptable responses on the board.
  3. Knowing the difference between a want and a need is another important aspect to understanding the basics of production. Go through the list of goods and services students created and call on students to identify each item as a want or a need.
  4. Separate students into groups of three or four to work together to complete the database activity.
  5. Tell students they will be creating a list of products by searching the Internet, looking through advertisements in the newspaper, and flipping through phone books. Each group of students will be creating a database.
  6. Assist students in setting up their databases, including the following information and fields.
    • Form Name: Goods and Services
    • Field Names: Product Name; Good or Service (Dropdown choices—Good, Service); Want or Need (Dropdown choices—Want, Need); Where It Is Produced; Price (in Dollars); Media (Multi-Select—Internet, Newspaper, Phonebook); Web Link
    • Data Types: Text; Text; Text; Text; Currency; Text; URL (or text, depending on program)

Information Presentation/Processing Information Activities

  1. Now that students have been introduced to goods and services and what they will be doing in this activity, reinforce the concepts of goods and services. Call on students to define the difference between a good and a service, and provide examples of each.
  2. Have students watch the following videos, either in their groups or projected on a whiteboard for the whole class. Tell them the videos will provide more information about the concept of production and goods and services.
In this video, a group of students demonstrate the process for building bean bag toss games. This is an example of a production of goods, a simple concept for students. These students produced a song. While students will understand the concept of “music production,” they will likely not see that as production similar to the production of goods. While not a common good, nor a service, this is still a form of production. Services are also a form of production. In this video, students will see a concept for a fake service, but would be a great starting point for a conversation around the idea of services being produced.
  1. If you feel students need additional support in identifying a good versus a service, direct them to the following Web sites.

Application Activities

Activity 1
Direct students to begin building their databases of goods and services. Each group should include at least 20 items in their databases. Remind students to use the Internet, newspapers, and phone books to search for their goods and services.

Zoho Database Sample

Activity 2

  1. Tell students they will be continuing to work with the data they collected on goods in services.
  2. Have students view a printed or an electronic report of their database of 20 (or more) goods and services. Point out that they will be totaling the number of goods and services and also identifying each product as a want or a need. After creating their charts, they will turn the data into a graphic representation of the content. Finally, tell students they will be using their charts to present their findings to the class, including a description of some of their goods and some of their services and why they decided which are wants and which are needs.
  3. Show students the sample spreadsheet below, and have them use their database reports to create a similar report. Provide students with the steps below as needed to complete their spreadsheets.
    • Row 1: Highlight cells A, B, and C. Format the cell by selecting bold and merging the three cells. Enter the title as Types of Products.
    • Row 3: Highlight cells B and C. Select bold, and then enter the words Wants and Needs.
    • Row 4: Highlight cell A. Select bold, and enter the word Goods. In cell B, have students tabulate the number of goods that are also wants from their database activity. In cell C, enter the number of goods that are also needs.
    • Row 5: Repeat row 4 activity, but with services.
    • Row 6: Highlight cell A. Select right align, and enter the word Total. In cell B, have students use the Sum command to auto-sum the total: =SUM(B4+B5). Repeat the formula for cell C.

Spreadsheet Sample

  1. After students have created their spreadsheets, provide them basic instruction on how to use the chart wizard to convert the data to chart format. Have students experiment with the chart options and choose one they feel shows the data in the best way.
  2. Direct students to either save their charts to project on a whiteboard or print to share with the class.

Closure Activity

Have each group of students present their chart and discuss some of their goods and services and why they chose to class each example as a want or need. Encourage students to discuss each example and talk about differences in classifying each as a good or service or a want or need.

Rubric—Lesson 1

Category 4 3 2 1 Points
Database Included at least 20 products and correctly completed information for all sections of the form. Included 16-19 products or did not fully complete all sections of the form. Included 11-14 products or completed half or less of the sections of the form. Included 10 or fewer products or completed only one or two sections of the form.  
Spreadsheet Fully completed the chart, following all steps. Identified all products correctly as a want or need. Completed the chart, but did not follow all steps. Failed to identify two or three products as a want or need. Did not complete the chart, but correctly identified wants and needs. Did not complete the chart and failed to identify wants and needs.  
Collaboration with Peers Almost always listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group. Tries to keep people working well together. Usually listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group. Does not cause "waves" in the group. Often listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group but sometimes is not a good team member. Rarely listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group. Often  is not a good team member.  
Content Shows a full understanding of the topic. Shows a good understanding of the topic. Shows a good understanding of parts of the topic. Does not seem to understand the topic very well.  

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