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Lesson 2—Supply and Demand

Overview: Through these activities, students will investigate supply and demand and how they affect and are affected by buyers and sellers (producers and consumers) of goods and services. A key to understanding production is identifying how supply and demand dictate what is produced. You have talked off and on how in previous lessons about production and globalization, but this set of activities specifically directs students to understand supply and demand in the production process.

Your students will be completing a series of activities over several days in this section of the unit. Each activity will include an Internet resource to support or guide instruction, as well as provide opportunities to demonstrate mastery of the content presented.

Curriculum Subject and Topic: Social Studies—Big Idea of Production
Estimated Duration: 150 minutes
Grade Level: 6

Curriculum Goals: Ohio Academic Content Standards

Lesson Objectives: Students will

National Educational Technology Standards for Students:



Motivational/Prepatory Activities

Activity 1: Defining Producers and Consumers—The first activity focuses on defining producers, consumers, supply, and demand.

  1. Knowing who is a producer and who is a consumer is an important part of learning about production. Students have already completed activities to understand production as either goods or services, but they will need to be able to distinguish producers from consumers to truly understand the concepts of supply and demand.
  2. Have students work in teams of three or four students to quickly search the Internet to build definitions for producers and consumers. Tell students they have 15 minutes to complete the activity. Remind students they should identify a definition that fits with the production of goods or services. Provide the following Web site suggestions if you want to direct the search.
  3. After 15 minutes, or when all students are complete, have each team identify a team member to come to the board and write their definitions. Discuss with students each team’s definition and settle on a shared definition.
  4. Tell students that they will be able to use these definitions in the next activity. Keep the final definitions written on the board for use in Activity 2.
  5. Direct students to the Web site below, either in their groups or projected on a whiteboard for the whole class. Introduce the videos by telling students the video lessons will provide a brief overview of supply, demand, producers, consumers, and pricing. The discussion in these videos introduces the concept of supply and demand and how these concepts drive production, with an interplay from buyers and sellers leading to a conversation of how they build toward a price in development.

Information Presentation/Processing Information Activities

Activity 2: Demand—Building on the previous activity, students will now have work to understand the concepts of supply and demand.

  1. If you do not begin this activity immediately after Activity 1, remind students of the definitions you developed together. Tell students that over the next couple days, they will learn about supply and demand. When they are researching these concepts, it will help them to know that producers supply goods and services to meet consumers’ demand, and that this demand and supply affects prices of products.
  2. Direct students to watch this lesson on demand on youtube.com. If students are unable to connect to youtube.com in your school, find a substitute lesson or provide a quick overview yourself to support their learning in the next step of this activity.

  1. To learn more about demand, direct students to the following Web site. Working individually (if enough computers are available) or in their teams from the previous activity, have students read through the materials and answer the questions embedded in the online activity.
  2. Have students email you their responses to ensure that they are truly understanding the concepts. Intervene as necessary.

Activity 3: Supply—Now that students have demonstrated an understanding of demand, they can focus specifically on learning about supply.

  1. Have a quick discussion to review what students have learned about demand. If possible, identify deficit areas from the assessment results from the demand activity. Call on students to tell you why demand is important in determining how much a good or service costs. It is essential for students to demonstrate an understanding that consumers’ demand for a good or service is a key factor driving prices.
  2. Tell students that while consumer demand for a product is extremely important, it is not the only factor in determining price. In fact, producer supply is equally important. As with demand, provide a quick overview lesson for the determinants of supply for students through this youtube.com video or your own lesson.

  1. For this activity, have students work through the lesson at the following Web site. Students continue to work individually or in their teams, as before.
  2. Have students answer the following questions based on their reading and discussion of the online lesson. They can ignore the discussion section at the bottom of the online resource. Have each student or team provide answers on notebook paper and hand in to you when completed.
    1. Do consumers or producers control supply of products?
    2. What are major determinants of supply?
    3. How does a price drop or a rise in price affect the supply of jeans or other products?
    4. What is revenue? (price-cost=revenue)
    5. If you sold candles and there was a three-day electricity black-out planned for your town, would you want a higher or lower supply of candles on hand? Why?

Application Activities

Activity 4: Putting it All Together—For this final activity, you will be asking students to piece together what they have been learning through a couple final tasks.

  1. Tell students that they are now supply and demand gurus, and you will be putting their expertise to the test.
  2. Lead students in a review of the demand and supply activities they have completed. Make sure students are firm in their understanding of the definition for both demand and supply, that consumers demand products and producers supply the products, and of some of the determinants of supply and demand. List the determining factors they name for each concept on the board for students to refer to as necessary when completing the wrap-up activities.
  3. Again working individually or in their teams, have students work through the two lessons on the following site.
  4. As students work through each set of questions, have them keep track of the number of answers they get right.
  5. Tell students that the Circular Flow Model activity will really stretch their understanding of the economics of supply and demand. Remind students to refer to the list of determinants of supply and demand as they complete the activity. Along with noting whether they answered the question correctly or incorrectly, have students identify which determinants they thought were involved in the question.
  6. When students have finished the activity, congratulate them for putting their learning in practice in these activities!

Closure Activity

Activity 5: Integrating Health—In this first activity, students will view a few resources around world supply and demand for grain and how it affects pricing. They will then work in small groups to select countries and work together to find trading partners among the other student groups based on the information they learn about their countries.

  1. Begin this activity by pulling up the Glog for all students to see.
  2. Start in the upper left-hand corner of the page.
  3. Talk briefly to students about the importance of a balanced diet. Access to fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains is essential to living a healthy life. However, many countries around the world do not have access to all these food for a variety of reasons.
  4. Tell students they will investigate on the Glog how world supply and demand for grain affects prices and the lives of people the world over.
  5. Assign student groups of 3 or 4 students to work together investigating different counties. Make sure they have enough time to investigate their countries before you start them in on finding trade partners to fill gaps in agriculture and commodity needs.

Rubric—Lesson 2

Category 4 3 2 1 Points
Activities 1­-4 All assignments are completed and turned in to the teacher,  and some  requirements are exceeded All assignments are completed and requirements are met. One assignment was not completed. More than one assignment was not completed.  
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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