Skip Navigation

Everyone Works

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 1st Grade
Standard 4 Objective 1

Time Frame

4 class periods of 15 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Employability


Calbert Beck
Kristen Cottrell
Stephanie Seely


Students will explore simple economic concepts such as: goods, services, wages, and expenses.



Story book:
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Jaffe Numeroff

Utah educators can download video version of this book from UEN's eMedia service which can be access via Pioneer Online Library

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand the financial concept of exchanging goods, or services, for goods or services in return. They will recognize that this process is the heartbeat of neighborhoods, communities, and countries around the world.

Instructional Procedures

Session #1:
Anticipatory set:
Show the students the PowerPoint presentation "Goods and Services".

Practice and Application:
Have the students create a two column list on their paper by modeling on the board. Write or draw a watch under "goods", and explain why you put watch under that category. Then write watch repairer under services (you could draw it if preferred). Explain why you categorized watch repairer as such.

Take some ideas from the students as to what you could put in each category. Tell them to complete their lists by listing goods and services appropriately.

Have the students stand up and share one good and one service that they wrote on their list.

Session #2:
Anticipatory Set:
Have the students draw a picture including someone performing a service in exchange for goods. You can prompt them with the idea of "If someone in your family offered to give you a piece of candy if you took out the garbage, would you do it? Why or why not?"

Practice and application:
Read the storybook If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Jaffe Numeroff. (Or Utah educators can download the video version from UEN's eMedia service which can be access via Pioneer Online Library)

Ask the students to recall a good or service that was exchanged in the story.

Divide the class into three groups:

  1. Chair stackers
  2. pencil keepers
  3. dancers/singers.

Collect all the students' pencils and give them to the pencil keepers. Tell the kids that the goal is to get their chair stacked onto their desks. Then tell each group that they have a job, chair stacking, keeping pencils, or dancing/singing.

Tell each group that they charge a price to do their job. Chair stackers need a pencil, pencil keepers charge a dance/song for a pencil, and the dancer/singers need a ticket from the teacher. Ask them to try to get their chair stacked onto their desk. This is the way it should play out:

  • The chair stackers can stack their chairs immediately, as they have that skill.
  • The pencil keepers can pay the stackers immediately because they own the pencils, but the singers/dancers will have to exchange goods and services several times.
  • The stackers will charge a pencil, which students will need from the pencil keepers.
  • The pencil keepers will charge a dance or song for a pencil.
  • Once the singers/dancers have performed their service, they get a pencil, which they pay to a stacker to stack their chair.
This creates a classroom economy.

Once the students have stacked their chairs, switch the group roles and repeat. Switch once more at the end of the second round, so that all the students participate in all the roles.

Have the students describe the process to you, and ask if they can think of any examples like this in the real world.

Session #3:
Anticipatory set:
Ask the students to recall the events from the classroom economy. Have them draw a picture to show the cycle.

Practice and Application:
Tell the students that we perform a service for someone when we work at a job. Assign one student as a chair stacker, and tell the students they need to get their chair stacked again.

The teacher is the pencil holder, and the students need to clean the floor area in the room to obtain a pencil.

Ask the students what were the services provided, what was the currency or the good.


Have the students draw a picture of a farmer, a policewoman, a doctor, and a mechanic exchanging goods and services.

If capable, have them write a story that has the characters exchanging goods and services to achieve wants or needs.


Goods and Services power point obtained from Pete's Power point station.

Created: 06/18/2010
Updated: 02/04/2018