history road


Include economics in fourth grade NE history.

Economics Concepts K-6

A table of economics concepts appropriate for each grade level.

Lessons by Concept

Lessons for each concept to help you teach economics.

Concepts Glossary

Definitions for teachers.

Concepts/Lessons for Textbook

The Nebraska Adventure: concepts and lessons by chapter.
NE Historical Society Links

Online photos to help you teach about Nebraska.
External Websites Links

Links to other resources to help you build a great lesson.

Definitions for Concepts

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Scarcity Resources are limited, so people cannot have all the goods and services they want.
Choice Deciding between two or more possible alternative objects or actions; called an economic choice for decisions among goods, services, or resources.
Goods Objects that can satisfy people's wants and can be held or touched.
Services Activities that can satisfy people’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 Anything used to produce goods and services; all natural, human and human-made aids to the production of goods and services. Also called productive resources.
Natural Resources Gifts of nature that can be used to create goods or services, and are present without human intervention. Land is the main natural resource.
Human Resources (labor) The quantity and quality of human effort directed toward producing goods and services (also called labor).
Capital Resources (capital goods)Goods made by people and used to produce other goods and services (machines and factories).
Barter The direct trading of goods and services between people without the use of money.
InterdependencePeople depend on each other to provide goods and services; occurs as a result of specialization.
MoneyA medium of exchange, which is a good (like shells or metal coins or pieces of paper) that can be used to buy other goods and services.
Producers / ProductionPeople who use resources to make goods and services, also called workers. The making of goods and services using resources.
ConsumersPeople whose wants are satisfied by using goods and services.
SpecializationProduction can often be best done by several or many people where each person specializes: does only a part of the job--the part that the person is skilled to do.
Division of LaborThe process whereby workers divide up a job, so each performs only a single task or very few steps of a major production task, as when working on an assembly line.
ProductivityThe ratio of output (goods and services) to input, or the amount of output produced per unit of productive resources over a period of time.
MarketsAny setting where buyers and sellers exchange goods, services, resources, and currencies.
PricesThe value of a good or service stated in money terms.
Public GoodsGoods and services that are typically provided by the government because of their characteristics. The benefits received by their consumption are widespread and cannot be limited to one individual (e.g. national defense) and/or society as a whole benefits more than any single individual (e.g. public education).
Economic SystemsThe way a society organizes the production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services.
Market EconomyAn 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 FlowA model of an economy showing the interactions between households and business firms as they exchange goods and services and resources in markets.
Trade/ExchangeTrading 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 ProductionResources used by businesses to produce goods and services.
Investment in Capital ResourcesBusiness purchases of new plants (buildings) and equipment.
Investment in Human ResourcesActivities that increase the skills and knowledge of workers.
Trade-offsGiving up one thing to get some of another.
DemandA schedule of how much consumers are willing and able to buy at each possible price during some time period.
SupplyA schedule of how much producers are willing and able to produce and sell at each possible price during some time period.
Equilibrium Price The market clearing price at which the quantity demanded by buyers equals the quantity supplied by sellers.
Competition Rivalry among sellers to sell (supply) goods and services, or among buyers to buy (acquire) a service or good.
Cost of ProductionThe total paid for all resources used by a business in producing goods and services. The owners of the resources receive the payment. 
ProfitThe difference between the total revenue and total cost of producing and selling a good or service in a business; entrepreneurial income.
EntrepreneursThe human resource (person) who assumes the risk of organizing the other productive resources to produce goods and services.
IncentivesThings 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.
TaxesRequired payments of money made to governments by households and business firms.
Income TaxTaxes paid by households and business firms based on the amount of income they receive.
Property TaxTaxes paid by households and businesses based on the value of land and buildings.
Sales TaxTaxes paid on the value of goods and services people buy.
UnemploymentThe situation in which people are willing and able to work at current wages but do not have jobs.
ShortageThe situation resulting when the quantity demanded exceeds the quantity supplied at the current price of a good, service, or resource.
SurplusThe situation resulting when the quantity supplied exceeds the quantity demanded at the current price of a good, service, or resource.


Contact us with suggestions: webmaster, ksosin@unomaha.edu This website is partially funded by an 2009 Excellence in Economic Education grant from the Council on Economic Education and the UNO College of Business Administration. We also thank the NE Department of Education and our focus group of teachers.

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