• Explain how scarcity requires people to make economic choices

  • Recognize that economic choices have costs

  • Analyze a production possibilities curve

Key Concept

  • Scarcity, which is a universal economic problem, requires individuals and societies to make choices about how to use their limited resources.


Tier 2 Scarcity
Tier 3 Factor of Production
Opportunity Cost
Production Possibilities Curve
Test Words Table

Evidence-Based Reading

  • Phonemic Awareness: Write the words scarcity and science on the board. Ask students to pronounce the words and explain how sc is pronounced in each word (the first like /sk/; the second like /s/). Create a two-column chart on the board, labeling one column /ski and the other /s/. Have students suggest more sc- words to fill in the columns (for example, scone, scene, scuba, scion, scavenger, scared, scintillate). Help them recognize that the vowel following the c influences the word’s pronunciation.

21st Century Skill

  • Life and Career Skills: Students will notice that their budget should include setting aside a certain amount for savings. Discuss with them the necessity of saving and various ways of calculating how much to save each month.

Writing Practice

  • As a class, develop a template table or log for students to use when tracking their spending. Make copies, or have students copy the template into their notebooks. After students have completed the activity, talk about how the table helped them organize their data and complete the assignment.

Before Lesson

Write the word economics on the board. Ask students if they have heard this term before, and if so, what words and concepts they associate with it. Use their suggestions to create a concept web around the word. As a prompt, suggest words and phrases such as money and goods and services.


Ask students whether they ever have too little time available to do all the things they want or need to do. Have them name examples of activities they have given up in order to do something else, and write their responses on the board. Explain that the challenge of having too little time (or money or other resources) to do all the things we want to do is an example of scarcity. Scarcity forces us to choose. A scarcity of money may force a choice between buying a needed textbook and a desired item of clothing, while a scarcity of time may mean choosing between studying and going out with friends. Tell students that in this lesson, they will learn about the economic.

Guided Practice

  • Scarcity and Choice
    • Choices Involve Costs
      • Business Choices
      • Government Choices
    • Graphing Opportunity Costs
    • Production Possibilities Table
    • Production Possibilities Curve

Core Skill

Interpret Graphics: Explain that authors use graphics to present information in different ways. Sometimes graphics make it easier to understand an idea or concept. Have pairs of students use the table on page 184 to write a paragraph. They should use the first heading as their main idea and data from the table as the supporting details in their paragraphs. Have pairs exchange their paragraphs with another pair and check to make

Recognize Supporting Details: Explain that creating a web diagram is an effective way to recognize main idea and details in text. Have small groups of students create a web diagram about the Choices Involve Costs section, with the main idea in the middle and supporting details extending from it.


Practice Word Stress: Have students look at the vocabulary words for this lesson. Help students to recognize the influence of the word endings - tzon and -ity on word stress. Have them practice reading sentences containing the vocabulary words, taking care to use correct word stress.

Apply Economic Concepts: Ask students to think of a scenario in their lives that involves opportunity cost. Then have them take that scenario and apply the concepts they learned in this lesson to create a production-possibilities table and graph showing the options involved. For example, students might use the opportunity costs of time spent exercising versus time spent studying. Have them write a short paragraph explaining and analyzing their data. Common Core Basics: Social Studies

Lesson Review