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


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Learning outcomes

Students will learn that the production of any product or service requires four factors of production.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

45 minutes


  • one miniature Almond Joy candy bar for each student
  • one sheet of paper and a pen or pencil
  • one sheet of large drawing paper and colored pens or pencils


This is an introductory lesson. Students need to be informed the day before the lesson to bring paper and a pen or pencil.


  1. Have students clear their desk except for a clean sheet of paper and a pen or pencil.
  2. Tell the students that they are to leave the candy bar on their desk until further instructions are given. Do not eat the candy bar until the end of the class.
  3. Place one candy bar on each student’s desk.
  4. Tell students that they are to list on paper everything that went into making the candy bar from the time someone had the idea for the candy until the consumer purchased the candy off the store shelf.
  5. Write on the chalkboard or overhead projector each of the things that went into making the candy, as the class changes or modifies each thing on their paper. (Examples: sugar, ink on wrapper, idea, machinery, advertiser, trucks for hauling, electricity, etc. Usually, students will have fifty or more things.)
  6. Explain the definitions for each of the four factors of production.
    • land
    • labor
    • capital
    • entrepreneurship
  7. Ask for any questions about the definitions.
  8. Have the students create a hypothetical timeline of the creation of the candy bar from start to finish. Instruct them to use four different colors, one for each factor of production.


Have the students label the things on their timeline as either land, labor, capital, or entrepreneurship. Discuss why each item is labeled as it is and reconcile any differences among the students’ answers.

Supplemental information


This lesson plan was developed during a brainstorming session among three ELP teachers, two of whom were teaching PALS classes and wanted as many visuals as possible for the PALS classes. However, the plan was used in all classes, and all students seemed to understand the lesson better.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Civics and Economics

        • CE.E.1 Understand economies, markets and the role economic factors play in making economic decisions. CE.E.1.1 Compare how individuals and governments utilize scarce resources (human, natural and capital) in traditional, command, market and mixed economies....

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 10

  • Goal 7: The learner will investigate how and why individuals and groups make economic choices.
    • Objective 7.01: Describe the basic factors of production such as land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurial skills and their impact on economic activities.