INTRODUCTION
Often decisions result in trading off some of one thing to get some of another.
This lesson introduces the idea of tradeoffs and provides practice in analyzing
options before making decisions.
ECONOMIC CONCEPTS
Choice Opportunity cost Alternatives Tradeoffs
RELATED CONTENT AREAS
 Mathematics
 Charts and graphs
 Use of calculators
OBJECTIVES
 Define opportunity cost.
 Identify alternatives.
 Explain that a tradeoff involves giving up some of one thing to get
some of another.
 Analyze tradeoffs.
LESSON DESCRIPTION
After reading about a problem, students identify alternative solutions,
tradeoffs made in choosing each alternative, and the opportunity cost
of selecting each option. Students describe tradeoffs and create a graphic
to represent alternatives and tradeoffs.
TIME REQUIRED
MATERIALS
Visual 1, Basketball Dilemma, and 2, Basketball Options
Calculator for every 23 students Overhead pens
Markers for each group
Newspaper ads for food and other items and

Activity 1, Options, for each student 

PROCEDURE
1. 
Explain that sometimes decisions result in giving up some of one thing to
get some of another thing. This is called a tradeoff. 
2. 
Display transparency of Visual 1 and ask students to identify the problem
in this situation. (The main gym is available only for 8 hours but the students
will play 20 basketball games.) Explain there are two obvious choices. The
students could use all 8 hours for girls' games or all 8 hours for boys'
games. 
3. 
Ask students to identify other options. List these on the board.
(4 hours for girls, 4 hours for boys; 6 hours for girls; 2 hours for boys,
6 hours for boys, 2 hours for girls; 3 hours for boys, 5 hours for girls;
3 hours for girls, 5 hours for boys; and so on.) Select a student and discuss:
 If you were making this decision, what option would you choose? (Answers
will vary but use one student's answer as an example.)
 What would your second choice be? What do we call this second choice?
(opportunity cost)
 Does choosing this option result in any tradeoffs? (Yes, you give
up being able to play some boys' (girls') games in order to play some girls'
(boys') games.)

4. 
Display transparency of Visual 2. Discuss sample charts and keys. Using
the blank box on the transparency, demonstrate another option. 
5. 
Divide the class into groups of 23 students. Distribute calculators
and markers to each group. Ask students to illustrate as many options as
they can and determine the percent of time in the large gym allotted to
each group. They may use squares, circles, or rectangles 
CONTINUE 