K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

  • Students will read non-fiction books and use the books to gather information.
  • Students will work in small groups to identify economic resources and classify the resources into three categories: natural, human, and capital.
  • Students individually will list the resources on a Tree Map.
  • Small groups will share their book and present their Tree Maps to the class.
  • Students will listen to a book and complete a Tree Map, graded with a Rubric score.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

90 Minutes


Easy Books:

  • Berger, Melvin. From Peanuts to Peanut Butter (Big Book version). Newbridge Communication, Inc. ISBN 1-56784-001-9
  • Gibbons, Gail. Paper, Paper Everywhere. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers. ISBN 0-15-259488-4
  • Robbins, Ken. Make Me a Peanut Butter Sandwich and a Glass of Milk. Scholastic, Inc. ISBN 0-590-43551-5
  • Berger, Melvin. An Apple a Day. Newbridge Communications, Inc. ISBN 1-56784-011-6
  • Paulsen, Gary. The Tortilla Factory. Harcourt Brace and Co. ISBN 0-15-292876-0

Challenging Books:

  • Aliki. How a Book is Made. Scholastic Inc. ISBN 0-590-16295-0
  • Machotka, Hana. Pasta Factory. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0-395-60195-5
  • Burns, Diane. Sugaring Season: Making Maple Syrup. Carolrhoda Books, Inc. ISBN 0-87614-420-2

Other resources:

  • Jones, George. My First Book of How Things are Made. Scholastic Inc. ISBN 0-590-48004-9
  • Hyerle, David. Thinking Maps: Tools for Learning. Innovative Sciences, Inc. ISBN 1-884582-02-8


  • Students should be familiar with various Thinking Maps, including the Tree Map.
  • Directly preceding this lesson should be a lesson on production.
  • Natural, human, and capital resources should have been introduced but not studied.


Day 1

Teacher Introduction and Demonstration. 20 minutes. After a one-minute review of the previous lesson on production, the teacher reads aloud From Peanut to Peanut Butter by Melvin Berger (Big Book version). The teacher briefly discusses the production process for peanut butter, focusing on resources. Teacher shows a blank Tree Map on board or overhead. See a PDF sample map. Teacher leads the class back through the book for a second time, focusing on the pictures from each page. Teacher picks items from each page which are resources. Teacher classifies resources on the Tree Map as Human (farmer), Natural (sun, soil), or Capital (tractor, machines). See a PDF sample From Peanut to Peanut Butter Tree Map.

Student Work. 30 minutes. Divide the class into small groups. Each group chooses a book on production and each child gets a blank Tree Map (PDF document). Students will complete their map as the teacher previously modeled.

  1. Read book first. Groups can assign a reader or read cooperatively, depending on ability levels.
  2. Look at the pictures. Identify the items which are resources. Decide cooperatively if the resource is Human, Natural, or Capital.
  3. Fill in Tree Map with examples from the book.

Teacher and assistant move around to monitor and assist if necessary. They should monitor the discussions, facilitate decision making, and view Tree Maps for accuracy of resource type.

Day 2

Share books and maps. 30 minutes. Allow 5 minutes for groups to review their book and Tree Maps. Each group, in turn, gives a brief overview of their book and the production process. Then, they share their Tree Maps, using the book to show pictures. Each group should provide logical reasoning for how it classified the resources on the Tree Map. All students should be encouraged to participate.

Assessment. 10-15 minutes. The teacher will read a selection from My First Book of How Things are Made by George Jones. Students should complete a Tree Map (PDF document) independently, which should be graded with a rubric score. See Assessment for a Rubric guide.


Teacher observation during group work:

  • Group is working cooperatively.
  • All members are participating.
  • Students are focused on their task.

Teacher observation and questioning during share time:

  • Group shares the resources listed and/or pictured in the book
  • Group gives a good explantion of the Tree Map.
  • All group members have an understanding of the difference between the three types of resources.
  • Each member of the group participates in the explanation.

Completion of Tree Map:

  • Student put the correct headings on the Tree Map.
  • Student completed at least 3 examples for each resource, when available from the book.

Rubric Guide for Tree Map:

  • Score 1 = No headings. No examples of resources.
  • Score 2 = Some headings are complete. May have limited examples of resources correctly classified, resources may be classified inappropriately.
  • Score 3 = Headings complete. 1-2 examples for each resource.
  • Score 4 = Headings complete. 3 or more examples of each resource.

Supplemental information



This lesson is great for all learners! Students who would normally be unable to read and complete this lesson will be assisted by their group. Every student has the opportunity to help their group succeed.

Any books on production could be used. The ones listed in this lesson are the ones I have access to in my school’s media center.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 2

        • 2.E.1 Understand basic economic concepts. 2.E.1.1 Give examples of ways in which businesses in the community meet the needs and wants of consumers. 2.E.1.2 Explain the roles and impact producers and consumers have on the economy. 2.E.1.3 Summarize the concept...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.08: Interpret information from diagrams, charts, and maps.
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.02: Connect and compare information within and across selections (fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama) to experience and knowledge.
    • Objective 3.04: Increase oral and written vocabulary by listening, discussing, and composing texts when responding to literature that is read and heard. (e.g., read aloud by teacher, literature circles, interest groups, book clubs).
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.04: Use oral communication to identify, organize, and analyze information.
    • Objective 4.06: Plan and make judgments about what to include in written products (e.g., narratives of personal experiences, creative stories, skits based on familiar stories and/or experiences).

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 2

  • Goal 7: The learner will apply basic economic concepts and evaluate the use of economic resources within communities.
    • Objective 7.04: Identify the sources and use of revenue in the community.