Evidence of Student Learning:
Social Studies Learning Goals in Economics
Here are social studies learning goals in economics for K-6 expressed in terms that are appropriate for presentation at the designated
grade level. This document was prepared by Mary Lynn Reiser (UNO Center) working with elementary teachers in the Omaha
Public Schools. The material was compiled and arranged from the Council for Economic Education curriculum guides,
more specifically from the National Council A Framework for Teaching Basic Economics K-12, 1995.
Goals are described for the primary grades or for intermediate grades, or more specifically, for
Scarcity- The condition of not being able to have all the goods and services that we want. Choice- What someone must make when faced with two or more
alternative uses for a resource, also called an economic choice. Goods-Objects that can be held or touched that can satisfy peopleâ€™s wants. Services- Activities that can satisfy peopleâ€™s wants.
Opportunity Cost -The next best alternative that must be given up when
a choice is made. Not all alternatives, just the next best choice. Resources-All natural, human and human-made aids to the production of goods and services. Also called productive resources.
Natural Resources-"Gifts of nature" that are present without
human intervention (also called land). Human Resources-The quantity and quality of human effort
directed toward producing goods and services (also called labor). Capital Resources-Goods made by people and used to produce
other goods and services (also called intermediate goods).
Barter-The direct trading of goods and services between people without
the use of money.
* Review of concepts from Kindergarten and First grade
Interdependence- Dependence on others for goods and services; occurs
as a result of specialization. Money- A medium of exchange, a good that can be used to buy other
goods and services. Production/Producers- People who use resources to make goods and
services, also called workers. Consumers-People whose wants are satisfied by using goods and
services. Specialization- The situation in which people produce a narrower range
of goods and services than they consume.
* Review of Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade Concepts
Division of Labor -The process whereby workers perform only a single task or very few steps of a major production task, as when working on a assembly line. Productivity - The ratio of output (goods and services) produced per unit of input (productive resources)
over a period of time. Markets-Any setting where buyers and sellers exchange goods, services, resources, and currencies. Price- The value of a good or service stated in money terms. Public Goods - Goods and services that are provides by the government. They often too
expensive or not practical to be obtained by individuals.
Economic Systems -The way a society organizes the production,
consumption, and distribution of goods and services. Market Economy -An economic system where most goods and services
are exchanged through private transactions by private households and
businesses. Prices are determined by buyers and sellers making
exchanges in private markets. Circular flow - A model of an economy showing the interactions between
households and business firms as they exchange goods and services and
resources in markets. Trade/Exchange - Trading goods and services with people for other
goods and services or for money. When people exchange voluntarily,
they expect to be better off as a result.
Factors of Production - Resources used by businesses to produce
goods and services. Investment in Capital Resources - Business purchases of new plant and equipment. Investment in Human Resources - Activities that increase the skills and
knowledge of workers. Trade-offs - Giving up one thing to get some of another. Demand - A schedule of how much consumers are willing and able to
buy at all possible prices during some time period. Supply - A schedule of how much producers are willing and able to
produce and sell at all possible prices during some time period. Equilibrium Price - The market clearing price at which the quantity
demanded by buyers equals the quantity supplied by sellers.
Competition - Techniques used by businesses to gain more
customers and to earn higher profits. Costs of Production - All resources used in producing goods and
services, for which owners receive payment. Profit - The difference between the total revenue and total cost of a
business; entrepreneurial income. Entreprenuership -The human resource that assumes the risk of
organizing other productive resources to produce goods and services. Incentives- Factors that motivate and influence the behavior of
households and businesses. Prices, profits, and losses act as
incentives for participants to take action in a market economy. Taxes- Required payments of money made to governments by
households and business firms.
Income Taxes - Taxes paid by households and business
firms on the income they receive. Property Taxes - Taxes paid by households and
businesses on land and buildings. Sales Taxes - Taxes paid on the goods and services people
Unemployment - The situation in which people are willing and able
to work at current wages but do not have jobs. Shortages- The situation resulting when the quantity demanded
exceeds the quantity supplied of a good, service, or resource. Surpluses -The situation resulting when the quantity supplied
exceeds the quantity demanded of a good, service, or resource,
usually because the price is for some reason above the equilibrium
price in the market.