Economics in Action

Economics In Action Board Game

Entice students to learn about a state’s economy through the engineering of an engaging game board that integrates color theory and sculpture with traditional academic subjects. See economics in action!

  • 1.

    During a unit of study focused on their state’s economy, provide students with opportunities to analyze and play well-known board games. Students identify skills needed to be successful at the games and examine the writing of game directions.

  • 2.

    Engage the art teacher to review sculpture creation – molding, casting, construction and carving. After reviewing capitol and natural resources found available in the home state, students use their knowledge of sculpture to create one of each type of resource using Crayola Model Magic. Keep in mind that fresh Model Magic will stick to itself. Dried pieces can be glued together using Crayola No-Run School Glue.

  • 3.

    In small groups, students discuss and sketch ideas for original board games focused on the state economy and natural resources available. Students use the Engineering Process to design their games (ask…imagine…plan…create…improve). The art teacher will walk students through the creative use of color, line and space to convey ideas. Groups revise sketches and consider scale of sketched items in relation to the recycled game boards available. Make adjustments as needed.

  • 4.

    Provide students with a variety of teacher-created rubrics to review for the purpose of creating a student-generated rubric for their game projects. Create the rubric!

  • 5.

    Team members collaborate on the initial painting of recycled game boards and design of sculpture game pieces. With input from peers, ideas may need revision. Remind students that their pieces should convey the message of state resources.

  • 6.

    Using the evaluation rubric as a guide, groups work on creating the various components of their games (boards, writing and testing directions, creating game cards, etc.). When appropriate, provide groups with materials to create their final game board. Supplies such as Crayola Model Magic, Tempera Paint, Washable Markers, Crayons and Colored Pencils work well with re-purposed game boards.

  • 7.

    Collaborate with the art teacher to organize and display a variety of game lids. Draw attention to the various logos, pictures and colors used to create each lid. Student groups discuss their ideas and design a game box that will entice someone to play their game. Design, paint and decorate game boxes!

  • 8.

    When games are near completion, provide class time for groups to play their own original Economics in Action games. During this exercise, student groups use the rubric to identify areas in need of improvement for their games. Allow time for game adjustments to be completed.

  • 9.

    Game Day! Student groups set up their original games for playing. Allow students class time to play at least two other games besides their own. Direct groups to discuss and evaluate games using the student-generated rubric. Which game best reflects learning about their state’s economics? Why is this game the recommended? Allow time for discussion.

  • 10.

    This plan is a summation of a unit of study on the state’s economy written for students at Dana Elementary School in Hendersonville, North Carolina. It was presented to the First Lady at The White House Art Fair.

Standards

  • LA: Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade level topic or subject area.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • MATH: Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic.
  • SCI: Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
  • SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and culture address similar human needs and concerns.
  • SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.
  • SS: Give examples that show how scarcity and choice govern our economic decisions.
  • VA: Collaboratively set goals and create artworks that are meaningful and have purpose to the makers.
  • VA: Revise artwork in progress on the basis of insights gained through peer discussion.
  • VA: Analyze components in visual imagery that convey messages.

Adaptations

  • Invite student groups to create a video commercial advertising their original Economic in Action game. Post video on a classroom computer for easy student viewing.
  • Students create a QR code with spoken directions or tutorials for their game using an interactive website such as https://www.the-qrcode-generator.com/ .
  • Groups create ‘bonus packs’ of more challenging questions for their Economics in Action game.
  • Student teams investigate the economies of other states. Compare and contrast those to their home state’s economy.
  • Invite a local or state elected official to speak with the class about their state’s economy and what is being done to sustain or boost the economy. Prior to the visit, ask students to write questions for the speaker. After their meeting, students post learning to a class blog.