RAFT: Businesses Meet Needs and Wants of Consumers (AIG IRP)
After the teacher has read books about wants versus needs, managing money to buy wants and needs, bartering, trading, producers and consumers, resources, and scarcity, she will lead a discussion with the whole class about identifying local businesses in the community, how a market economy works, and how businesses both pay out and make money. Then higher level students will work on a R.A.F.T. project. They will assume the “ROLE” of a business owner, a producer, or a consumer, and they will write to a particular “AUDIENCE” (ex. business owner, consumer, producer) with a particular “FORMAT” (business letter, friendly letter, poem) about a given “TOPIC”. This lesson was developed by NCDPI as part of the Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project. This lesson plan has been vetted at the state level for standards alignment, AIG focus, and content accuracy.
Brief Description of Lesson/Task/Activity: After the teacher has read books about wants versus needs, managing money to buy wants and needs, bartering, trading, producers and consumers, resources, and scarcity (I have listed many books in the Needed Resources/Materials section), she will lead a discussion with the whole class about the following:
- Identifying local businesses in the community (teacher may bring in a local business owner to talk about his/her business; what the business produces or what services it provides)
- How a market economy works (people have needs and wants, so these items get produced or services get developed)
- How businesses have to pay out money for products, hiring employees, renting/owning a building and/or vehicles, and they make money by selling products or charging for services (students can brainstorm different types of business that offer products and some that offer services in their area)
Then higher level students will work on a R.A.F.T. project. They will assume the “ROLE” of a business owner, a producer, or a consumer, and they will write to a particular “AUDIENCE” (ex. business owner, consumer, producer) with a particular “FORMAT” (business letter, friendly letter, poem) about a given “TOPIC”. The product will be typed.
Time Frame: 1-2 hours
Type of Differentiation for AIGs:
Adaptations for AIGs:
Explanation of How Resource is Appropriate for AIGs: This task is appropriate for higher level students because while they continue to work with the Essential Standard for this grade level, they will also extend learning by writing from a particular ROLE (perspective) and make this writing clear and this role believable. They may need to do research to make sure they understand the role and audience, what the perspective would logically be on the particular topic (according to the role), and they may need to research the correct format as well. They will work with third grade level objectives for writing and will type the product.
- Attachment: R.A.F.T. for Economics
- Attachment: Rubric for R.A.F.T.
- Below are books which may be helpful:
- A Birthday for Frances by Russell Hoban
- Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst
- A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziesert
- Bananas from Monola to Margie by George Ancona
- In My Town by Richard Scarry
- The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmes by Jan and Stan Berenstain
- The Silk Route by John Major
- The Kid’s Money Book by Neale Godfrey
- Moosey Saves Money by Michael Pellowski
- Arthur’s Funny Money by Lillian Hoban
TEACHER NOTES: The teacher should find books and/or search the internet for appropriate resources for students to use in their research.
Stage 1: Engage
The teacher will read books to students to get them thinking about the following:
- Needs versus wants
- Local businesses
- How people have needs and wants and business create/sell products and develop services to provide for these needs/wants
- How businesses incur costs by hiring employees, renting/buying a building or vehicles, and buying products, and then they earn revenue by selling products or charging for services
The teacher will lead a discussion with the whole class about these topics. She will help students understand how a market economy works and how people make choices about what they buy to provide for their needs/wants. Students will discuss how demand, scarcity, and availability help determine cost. She may invite some local business owners (maybe even parents of students in the class) to talk about their businesses (whether they sell products, make products, or provide services) and how they depend on the consumer to purchase their products or enlist their services, what they have to pay for, and how they make revenue.
The teacher will ask students the following questions:
- What products do you buy on a frequent basis?
- Who provides those products? Why do the producers make/provide these products? What do they do with the money they earn? (Continue buying resources to make/produce their products, buy different products that they need/want, pay for services they need/want, pay bills, etc.)
- What service could you see yourself providing for a fee? (Raking leaves, cleaning house, washing a car, walking a dog, pet sitting) What would you do with the money you earned?
- How important is it for those who earn money to spend some of it back in the market? Why?
Stage 2: Elaborate
Higher level students will then get a R.A.F.T. (the attachment) from which they will create written pieces from a particular Role, to a particular Audience, in a certain Format on a Topic. I have included an attachment for teachers to use with their higher level students (R.A.F.T.). I have also attached the rubric for grading each written piece.
Students should use economic terms effectively in their writing pieces (needs, wants, supply, demand, profit, scarcity, goods, services, choices).
Students should be encouraged to conduct research on particular topics as needed for the successful completion of their products.
Stage 3: Evaluate
The teacher will assess students by using the attachment (rubric) for each written piece from the R.A.F.T. The teacher can assign 1-4 written pieces per higher level student depending on time for the assignment.
TEACHER NOTES: The teacher can tweak the rubric if she wishes to do so.