Thursday, February 10, 2011

Factors of Production

We had such a quick, fun lesson today and I just had to share it.  We were working with factors of production.  The students created a good from modeling clay.  We then discussed the three things used to create each good: natural resources (the clay), human capital (themselves), and capital resources (the tools such as rulers and molds).  The kids had a good time fashioning their creations and looking at other's handiwork.  Each child shared their object and I asked a quick question to review what we had previously learned about goods and integrated new vocabulary about factors of production.  At the end of class we took the notes, which went very smoothly because the kids really seemed to grasp the concepts during our discussion.

As a follow up I present my students several items and have them identify the factors of production for each.

Some additional ideas and tips:
  • Have students vote on the most creative sculpture and give a small prize
  • Set a timer and give verbal cues so students know how much time they have left on their creations (7ish minutes seemed like a good amount of time for my kids)
  • Have students share goods in small groups rather than as a class
  • I have the small "party favor" play dough containers.  This is enough play dough for 2 students.
  • Take photos (I forgot this part!) and post with definitions of economic terms
This lesson was modified from Play Dough Economics.   I have used several lessons from this book and they have all been quite popular, but I tend to use them as introductory lessons because I teach middle school.
Do you have a favorite econ resource or lesson for teaching factors of production?  I'd love to hear about it!

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