8-10 yrs old
Math & Economics
Reading and Writing
LEARNING ECONOMICS WITH MINECRAFT: CHOICES, COSTS AND BENEFITS2
July 5, 2017
Handout 2 - Benefits and Costs Grid (one copy per group)
Handout 3 - Minecraft Grid (one copy per group)
Benefits, Choices, Costs, Decision Making, Opportunity Cost
TIME REQUIRED: 90 Minutes
Making choices is an integral part of life and not always easy; however, it is necessary because our resources are always limited. You must weigh the pros (benefits) and cons (costs) to make the best possible decisions. When you do make a decision, there is always an opportunity cost.
Opportunity cost is the next best alternative given up when scarce resources are used for one purpose rather than another. If we use a limited resource such as time for one purpose, we give up the opportunity to use this resource for other purposes.
For example, if you choose to do your laundry after work instead of going to a movie, you give up the opportunity to go to the movie. The term "opportunity cost" refers to the most desirable of the alternatives not chosen—your second-best alternative. In this case, the movie is the opportunity cost.
In this lesson, students explore how decisions are made by identifying costs, benefits, and opportunity cost. They collaborate in making a structure in Minecraft and discuss how their decisions were made and the opportunity costs incurred.
Voluntary National Standards in Economics (2nd Edition):
Standard 1 – Scarcity. Productive resources are limited. Therefore, people cannot have all the goods and services they want; as a result, they must choose some things and give up others.
Standard 2-- Decision Making. Effective decision making requires comparing the additional costs of alternatives with the additional benefits. Many choices involve doing a little more or a little less of something: few choices are “all or nothing” decisions.
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2—Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
C3 Framework: D2.Eco.1.3-5 Compare the benefits and costs of individual choices
Make the following point: Choices are made by people based upon their tastes, their income, needs, and the prices of goods or services. Tell the students: Every decision that you make will have some things that are good, called benefits, and some things that might not be so good, called costs. Benefits are things that are favorable to you as a decision maker, and costs are things that are unfavorable to you as a decision maker. The best way to make a decision is to identify the costs and benefits of each choice and then compare them. Often it helps to write down the costs and benefits. Then you can look at the list, compare the pros and cons, and make an informed decision.
MINECRAFT ACTIVITY (30 minutes)
Write a paragraph discussing a choice your group made (type of material, design) in building your structure in Minecraft in terms of costs, benefits and opportunity cost. Be sure to use these three terms in your paragraph.
SUBMITTED BY: The Council for Economic Education (CEE). For more free K-12 economic and personal finance lesson plans and resources, visit CEE’s teacher site, EconEdlink.
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