Wayne RESA
Unit Abstract

In this unit students explore the principles and concepts of economics through the lens of Michigan today. Students use what they have learned in the previous unit about Michigan’s natural resources to explore how natural, human and capital resources combine to influence the types of businesses in our state today. Student then focus on the economic principles of scarcity, choice, and opportunity costs. Using a simulation model, students experience the impact of scarcity on their choices and the opportunity costs that result. In doing so, students are also introduced to the concept of incentives. They learn that people respond to incentives in predictable ways. Students then apply these principles to business decisions. After identifying Michigan’s current economic activities, students explain the reasons for their location. Using fruit as an example, students are introduced to how geography affects specialization and interdependence. The concept of interdependence exposes students to Michigan’s connection with the national and global economies. Finally, students explore the role of government with respect to goods, services, and incentives.


Stage One - Desired Results

Compelling Question

How have the geography and economy of Michigan shaped our past?

Supporting Questions
  1. What do people consider in deciding what to produce and consume in Michigan?
  2. How do scarcity and choice affect what is produced and consumed in Michigan?
  3. How is Michigan part of the national and global economies?
Content (Key Concepts)

capital resources


economic activities

economic development



human resources





natural resources

productive resources

role of government




Skills (Intellectual Processes)

Cause and Effect


Stage Two - Assessment Evidence

Unit Assessment Tasks

Stage Three - Learning Plan

Lesson Plan Sequence
MI: Social Studies (2007)
3rd Grade
G4 Human Systems
Understand how human activities help shape the Earth’s surface.
3 – G4.0.1 Describe major kinds of economic activity in Michigan today, such as agriculture (e.g., corn, cherries, dairy), manufacturing (e.g., automobiles, wood products), services and tourism, research and development (e.g., Automation Alley, life sciences corridor, university communities), and explain the factors influencing the location of these economic activities. (E)
Civics & Government
C3 Structure and Functions of Government
Describe the structure of government in the United States and how it functions to serve citizens.
3 – C3.0.2 Identify goods and services provided by the state government and describe how they are funded (e.g., taxes, fees, fines).
E1 Market Economy
Use fundamental principles and concepts of economics to understand economic activity in a market economy.
3 – E1.0.1 Explain how scarcity, opportunity costs, and choices affect what is produced and consumed in Michigan.
3 – E1.0.2 Identify incentives (e.g., sales, tax breaks) that influence economic decisions people make in Michigan.
3 – E1.0.4 Describe how entrepreneurs combine natural, human, and capital resources to produce goods and services in Michigan. (H, G)
3 – E1.0.5 Explain the role of business development in Michigan’s economic future.
E2 National Economy
Use fundamental principles and concepts of economics to understand economic activity in the United States.
3 – E2.0.1 Using a Michigan example, describe how specialization leads to increased interdependence (cherries grown in Michigan are sold in Florida; oranges grown in Florida are sold in Michigan).
E3 International Economy
Use fundamental principles and concepts of economics to understand economic activity in the global economy.)
3 – E3.0.1 Identify products produced in other countries and consumed by people in Michigan.
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Wayne RESA