Supply and Demand

Supply and Demand

All Ages

Math & Economics

Student will also learn about concept of trade via this lesson.

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

September 18, 2017


  • Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn about the economic concepts of monopolies and supply and demand by reading about the different fur trading companies that paved the way for the Oregon Trail.

Guiding Ideas

Students will research the fur trading Companies that laid the groundwork for the Oregon Trail. After reading about the competition among the companies and the decline of the fur trade, students will research the economic terms monopoly and supply and demand. Students will then work in teams to answer some questions related to monopoly and supply and demand.

Student Activities

Searching for beaver and other furs that were popular in Europe and the East, fur traders ventured west and created what became known as the Oregon Trail.  The Oregon Trail was laid by fur traders and traders from about 1811 to 1840, and was only passable on foot or by horseback. Fur trading companies competed for control of territory and sales throughout the West. What impact did their competitiveness have on each other? Research the great fur trading companies of the West.  Once you have read about the fur trade companies, look up the definition for monopoly and supply and demand (if you need to better understand these economic concepts). Then, as a team, answer the following questions:

• Why is being a monopoly an advantage for a company?

• How did fashion trends impact supply and demand for furs?

• What modern day examples are similar to the competition the fur trading companies experienced?

• What modern day examples remind you of the decline of the fur trade?

Performance Expectations


  • How do businesses gain advantage over their competitors?
  • How did the fur trade decline over time?
  • How did fur traders try to gain advantage over their competitors?


  • Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking