Opportunity Cost Poem

Grades: 3 to 6
Class Time: 1 hr.

Focus: The class will write a poem in economic terms.
Outcome: The students will be aware of economic and non-economic opportunity costs.
Objective: After reading poems dealing with economic issues, students will write a poem using the concept of opportunity costs.
Core Competencies: Sharing earth-space with others: the community.
1. Write the following poem on the board or on an overhead.
2. Read the poem to the students and discuss. Students should be able to define and use the term “opportunity cost.” Opportunity costs are the greatest opportunity loss. For example, suppose there are five things that you want to buy. Each on cost one dollar. Rank the five items from your first choice to the fifth choice. The opportunity cost of purchasing your first choice is the value to you of the second choice. Analyze the poem to identify opportunity costs. Extension: See if more able students can find other poems that deal with economic issues
I like to ride on a load of hay,
splash through puddles on a rainy day,
Swing and sway on the garden gate,
when there is company stay up late.
I like up in the trees to climb,
eat sugar cookies six or seven at a time,
Some things I like are best not to do;
I can’t do all I like, can you?
3. Rewrite poem in economic terms.
Materials/Resources: Poems that deal with economics or wants; overhead projector (optional).
Evaluation: Rewriting of poem and/or original poem.
Extensions: More able students can research poems that lend themselves to economic issues.
Vocabulary: Goods, services, producer, consumer, needs, wants, opportunity cost
Related Skills: The student should have previous experience with economic concepts such as needs, wants, scarcity, shortage, producer, consumer, goods and services.
Source: Edwards, Cindy and Murphy, Carole (1995). Elem. Educ. 253, Social Studies Methods, Univ. of Mo., St. Louis.