Teaching Economic Concepts with a Bag of Chocolate: A Classroom Experiment for Elementary School Students

11 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2011 Last revised: 4 Jan 2012

See all articles by Nicholas G. Rupp

Nicholas G. Rupp

East Carolina University - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 13, 2011

Abstract

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. Assessement test results reveal that two days after this classroom exercise, fifth grade students register significant improvements in their understanding of three fundamental economic concepts.

Keywords: economics education, elementary education, classroom experiments

JEL Classification: A21, A20

Suggested Citation

Rupp, Nicholas G., Teaching Economic Concepts with a Bag of Chocolate: A Classroom Experiment for Elementary School Students (January 13, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1747284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1747284

Nicholas G. Rupp (Contact Author)

East Carolina University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Greenville, NC 27858
United States
252.328.6821 (Phone)
252.328.6743 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://myweb.ecu.edu/ruppn/

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