Teaching economics with a bag of chocolate: A classroom experiment for elementary school students

  • Rupp N
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This paper describes a classroom experiment suitable for elementary school students in which participants are actively engaged in making trading decisions. Students are provided an endowment of gum and are asked to make trading decisions to acquire chocolate. As the opportunity cost of acquiring a piece of chocolate rises, fewer students are willing to make trades. This interactive classroom exercise illustrates three fundamental economic concepts: the law of demand, opportunity costs, and gains from trade. Assessment test results reveal that two days after this classroom exercise, fifth grade students register significant improvements in their understanding of three fundamental economic concepts.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Active learning
  • Classroom experiment
  • Economic concepts
  • Law of demand

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  • Nicholas G. Rupp

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