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


LEARN NC is no longer supported by the UNC School of Education and has been permanently archived. On February 1st, 2018, you will only be able to access these resources through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. We recommend that you print or download resources you may need before February 1st, 2018, after which, you will have to follow these instructions in order to access those resources.

Learn more

Related pages

  • How much is that cupcake really worth?!: Use this as an introductory lesson to supply & demand for Economic, Legal and Political Systems students.
  • To market we will go: In a market simulation, students will experience the roles of producers and consumers. The crafts in this market may be easily tied in with winter multicultural holidays (Christmas, Kwaanza, Hanukkah, Hmong New Year, Las Posadas, etc.) Students can purchase gifts for their family members at the market.
  • Grooming in 1930s North Carolina: Using primary source materials, this lesson plan provides a glimpse into the lives of girls and women from the 1930s and will give students the opportunity to study what was considered attractive for the time, how the Depression affected grooming practices, and the universal concept of healthful living.

Related topics


Please read our disclaimer for lesson plans.


The text of this page is copyright ©2008. See terms of use. Images and other media may be licensed separately; see captions for more information and read the fine print.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • review the economic concepts and terms introduced in previous lessons (supply schedule, supply curve, demand schedule, demand curve, profit, market survey, expenses, and opportunity cost).
  • analyze several scenarios in which they must review business records which include the above concepts and terms.
  • conduct a detailed report covering the steps necessary to start a business. This includes: conducting a market survey; creating a demand schedule and demand curve; creating a supply schedule and supply curve; determining an equilibrium price and quantity; and calculating business expenses to determine profitability.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

2 hours


Market Survey handout packet that provides business situations that students must analyze and leads them through the process of starting a business: doc | rtf

Technology resources

More advanced students could use Microsoft Money, Quicken, or Microsoft Excel to create charts or keep track of profit/loss in their businesses.


Students should have already brainstormed as a group to generate a list of good businesses for 4th/5th graders to “open” in class. In other words, students should have some idea of target markets. Also, at this point, students should have background knowledge of supply and demand, as well as scarcity of resources. These concepts will be reviewed in this lesson.


  1. Briefly review with students the concepts covered in last week’s lesson (market survey, demand schedule, demand curve, profit and supply curve). Explain that today they will conduct an in-depth investigation of possible business ventures. By the end of the day, they should be able to make an informed decision about whether a business idea will be profitable in the simulated class market.
  2. Distribute the handout packet. Go over the mock business scenarios that should help students review the economic concepts needed to analyze the profitability of their own business ideas. Be certain to discuss the equilibrium point in question #4.
  3. Allow students to work through the packet at their own pace. Students should have 2 possible business ventures in mind prior to beginning this work. (If students do not have 2 ideas, the teacher can pre-set 2 ideas for them based on his/her knowledge of the needs/wants of the class).
  4. Students will complete the market survey to ultimately decide on a product to sell and its equilibrium price.
  5. Upon completion of this packet, students should be able to make a good economic decision about which business may provide them with a profit in class. Also, the teacher may want to discuss opportunity cost and partnership costs/benefits at this time.


The assessment is different for my pull-out program. No grades are given. The handouts used as supplemental resources should provide the teacher with sufficient information regarding the extent of student understanding. Also, the success of the simulated business that students begin later will help the teacher see if the students really used the market survey.

Supplemental information


Teachers can use this approach to reinforce economic concepts in a way that connects student learning to real life entrepreneurial decisions.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Grade 4

        • Number & Operations in Base Ten1
          • 4.NO.4Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

    • North Carolina Essential Standards
      • Social Studies (2010)
        • 4.E.1 Understand how a market economy impacts life in North Carolina. 4.E.1.1 Understand the basic concepts of a market economy: price, supply, demand, scarcity, productivity and entrepreneurship. 4.E.1.2 Understand how scarcity and choice in a market economy...
      • Grade 5

        • 5.E.1 Understand how a market economy impacts life in the United States. 5.E.1.1 Summarize the role of international trade between the United States and other countries through Reconstruction. 5.E.1.2 Explain the impact of production, specialization, technology...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 4

  • Goal 6: The learner will evaluate how North Carolinians apply basic economic principles within the community, state, and nation.
    • Objective 6.02: Analyze the choices and opportunity cost involved in economic decisions.

Grade 5

  • Goal 5: The learner will evaluate ways the United States and other countries of North America make decisions about the allocation and use of economic resources.
    • Objective 5.06: Examine the different economic systems such as traditional, command, and market developed in selected countries of North America and assess their effectiveness in meeting basic needs.
    • Objective 5.07: Describe the ways the United States and its neighbors specialize in economic activities, and relate these to increased production and consumption.