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Bennett DEP page

Page history last edited by cydneyj@psdschools.org 10 years, 2 months ago

Celebrations: Our unit is tied to the new standards.

Challenges: assessments. We need to practice with all the new technology.

Next Steps: We need to come up with assessments and evaluations.  Attach links to our activities so it is user friendly.



Understanding By Design Unit Template



Title of Unit: Economics


Grade Level: Fourth grade


Subject Area (s) Social Studies


Time Frame


Teachers : Chastain, Johnson, Matson


Desired Results (Stage 1)

Essential Content (Subject Area) Standards

Economics Standard 1 - People respond to positive and negative incentives.

Economics Standard 2 - The relationship between choice and opportunity cost


National Education Technology Standards (Choose 2-3 to focus on)

     Creativity and Innovation X        Communication and Collaboration     X       Research and Information Fluency X


       Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making X        Digital Citizenship       Tech Operations and Concepts


Essential Questions

(connected to overarching and supporting understandings)

Overarching Understanding (“Big Idea”)

 Economies adapt over time to changing resources and needs of the community.


*What is a market economy?

*Why are different goods and services important at different times in Colorado's histrory?

*How have science and technology changed the economy of Colorado?

*How have natural, human, and capital resources had both positive and negative impacts on the development of Colorado?

*How do people make personal financial decisions?

*How does the exchange of goods and service occur around the world?

Supporting Understandings


*Function of market economies

*Connection between available resources, demand, and production

*Economic responsibility

*Economic change in Colorado history



Students will know…


Students will be able to…

Key terms- opportunity cost, capital resources,

natural resources, human resources, scarcity, goods, services, supply, and demand


Know how the productive resources of Colorado have

influenced the types of good produced and services provided 


Know the kinds of goods and services produced in Colorado in different historical periods and their connection to economic incentives


Give examples of opportuinty costs for individual decisions



*Analyze risks in their lives pertaining to choices they make 


*Collaborate and communicate what they have learned


*Use time management and organization skills to complete their work


*Apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.




Assessment Evidence (Stage 2)


Assessment of Overarching Understanding/Big Idea


Assessment Criteria (students will be able to… student application of Six Facets of Understanding)

*Student will use their knowledge of economics to explain the changes throughout history (explain)

*Student will provide historical background to help make present day economics more relevant (interpretation)


Assessment Tool (describe type of assessment tool to be used here - post completed tool with unit)

 *Rubric filled out by teacher and student. We will link this when we get closer to the time of teaching it.

Assessment Strategy (performance task description)


Your goal is to use technology to create a presentation about your assigned time period to demonstrate your knowledge of the economy during that time in Colorado history.


Students are researchers, analyzers, presenters




Students will present a timeline representing their knowledge of how Colorado's economy has changed.


Students will work in teams to research their assigned time period in Colorado history. They need to create a presentation using PowerPoint, Frames, Photostory, or a SmartBoard lesson, Timeline website(eduglogster.com;xtimeline.com, timetoast.com, timeglider.com)   Inspiration. Each time period needs to include information about form of currency, goods and services of the time, goods of high demand, inventions and innovations of the time, financial decisions people might have had to make. Time periods include: early people (Mesa Verde?), explorers, trappers and traders, Spanish Americans, miners, farmers, current


In the end we will take all the projects and put them together on WebBlender or a Wiki. Then groups will present their projects.



See criteria above. 

Evidence of development of supporting understandings, knowledge and skills

(identify assessment criteria, strategies and tools for each)


Students will understand the functions of a market economy. 

Strategy: Kids will participate in cooperative groups to play the Market Economy game.

Tools: Market Economy game, "Understanding Economics" video, "Lemonade Stand" / "Coffee Shop" game on the computer

Assessment Tools: Teacher observation checklist


Students will understand the connection between available resources, demand, and production.



Students will understand economic changes in Colorado history.

Strategy: Students will work in groups to research the economy of specific times in Colorado history.

Tools: Students will use PowerPoint, Frames Photostory, Scratch or a SmartBoard lesson.  Assessed by Checklist


Students will understand economic responsibility


Students will understand economic key terms.

Strategy: Kids will participate in activities that will help them understand the meaning of key economic terms.

Tools:*"Everyone Must Make Choices" from Children in the Market Place.

         *"The Grasshopper and the Ant" from Financial Fitness for Life

         *"Tortilla Factory"

         *"From Boxes to Sheep" from Resources A to Z

         *"Consumers Want Goods and Services" from Financial Fitness for Life













Evidence of student application of selected National Educational Technology Standards during the course of the unit? (Note: assessment of the NETS standards should be integrated with assessment of unit understandings, knowledge and skills and embedded within unit learning activities)


NET Standard 1: Creativity and Innovation

   A. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes

   B. create original works as a means of personal or group expression


NET Standard 2: Communication and Collaboration

   A. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and        media

  B. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats

  D.  contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems


NET Standard 3: Research and Information Fluency 

   A. plan strategies to guide inquiry

  B. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media

  C. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropiateness to specific tasks

  D. process data and report results










Learning Experiences (Stage 3)

Consider the questions in the boxes below as you design learning experiences that support student achievement of desired results.


1)"Understanding Economics" video is the provocation to hook the students.

2) Students will participate in activities to help them learn key economic concepts

   * Everyone Must Make Choices

   * Grasshopper and the Ant 

   * Tortilla Factory

   * From Boxes to Sheep

   * Consumers Want Goods and Services

3) Students will read and learn about different time periods in Colorado history.

   *Trappers and Traders

   * Spanish Americans

   * Gold Rush

   * Industries

4) Students will play the Market Economy game to help reinforce economic cocepts they have learned.

5) Students will work in teams to create a timeline of econmics in Colorado history.





















Use “Where To…” as a tool to assess the quality and scope of unit learning experiences.

How will you cause students to reflect and rethink?  How will you guide them in rehearsing, revising, and refining their work?



Where are your students headed?  Where have they been?  How will you make sure the students know where they are going?


How will you help students to exhibit and self-evaluate their growing skills, knowledge, and understanding throughout the unit?



How will you hook students at the beginning of the unit?

How will you tailor and otherwise personalize the learning plan to optimize the engagement and effectiveness of ALL students, without compromising the goals of the unit?



What events will help students experience and explore the big idea and questions in the unit?  How will you equip them with needed skills and knowledge?

How will you organize and sequence the learning activities to optimize the engagement and achievement of ALL students?




From:  Wiggins, Grant and J. Mc Tighe. (1998). Understanding by Design, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

   ISBN # 0-87120-313-8 (ppk)


Comments (3)

kellyf@psdschools.org said

at 9:44 pm on Feb 3, 2010

I love the whole concept of this unit!! (hoping to be able to use it with our fourth graders somehow as well!!) Wondering if you are going to tie in technology through research and alos have them create their timelines using some sort of technology?? Act out the different periods (incorporate writing-"scripts") and video tape the recreations of events in time?? Just a thought :o)

Jill Brennan said

at 1:23 pm on Feb 8, 2010

WOW! These are really big ideas - It's a great time to talk economy with kids and it will be interesting for them to see how the economy of areas have changed.

Catherim said

at 5:42 pm on Feb 8, 2010

I like the economic timeline. How are you going to include the personal finacial decisions? This concept is similar to the unit we are working on at Lopez.

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