Introduction to Economics - Lesson Plan

Introduction to Economics - Lesson Plan: 2 x 1 hour lessons

A series of 'off the shelf' lesson plans and resources for use in the classroom. These lessons deal with an introduction to basic economic concepts and are relevant for the following course areas:

  • AQA: AS Module 1
  • Edexcel: AS Unit 1
  • OCR: AS Unit 2881

Aim:

The aim of these lessons is to provide students with background information on the nature of economics, the economic problem and the key concepts of opportunity cost and production possibility frontiers.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the lessons, students should understand the following:

  • The fundamental nature of economics - unlimited wants and scarce resources and the need to make choices
  • The three questions related to the economic problem and its implications for an economy
  • A definition of opportunity cost
  • Production possibility frontiers and their relevance to the concept of opportunity cost

Resources:

Lesson Structure:

Lesson 1

  1. Begin with a discussion about what students already know about economics - it may not be that much! Get them to write down a definition or hold a brainstorm of words they associate with economics. (10 minutes)
  2. Go through the PowerPoint Presentation- Introduction to Economics. The slide notes give you background about the possible sources of discussion here. (30 minutes)
  3. A short 8 minute plenary with a question and answer session related to the key learning objectives related to the slides - one way of making this different is to use a soft ball and toss it to the student chosen to answer the question - once answered they have to throw it back or throw it to another student. The aim is to get students to move and meets a kinaesthetic style! (15 minutes)
  4. Set the scene for the next lesson - explain that a worksheet to help reinforce some of the ideas will be used. (This approach is designed to tap into the Reticular Activation System - the method where a cluster of cells in the brain act as a filter to the information we receive, these cells filter out the irrelevant information but retain that which is useful. If you don't believe me, look out for Mercedes cars on your way home and just see how many you notice! There are an awful lot on the roads these days.) (5 minutes)

Lesson 2

  1. Review the learning from the last lesson - another brief question and answer session. (5 minutes)
  2. Give out the Activity - this can be done either individually or in groups - there is a degree of flexibility in the Activity to allow for different approaches. However, there are various stages to the activity that are designed to lead students through the learning process. The three parts can be done in one lesson - probably a bit of a rush or one part kept to use for a homework activity. (45 minutes)
  3. At the end of the lesson, time should be set aside to cement the learning and allow students some time to reflect on what they have covered. Getting them to write a journal is a good way of doing this - it need only take five minutes at the end of a lesson and is a useful habit for students to get into. The journal should be a personal reflection of what they have discovered during the lesson; students benefit from writing an overall summary of the main points of the lesson - very briefly - and then commenting on what they feel they understand and what they do not understand. They then have the basis for identifying how they are going to overcome any gaps in their understanding. (10 minutes)
Related mind map: