Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
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Supply and Demand: What If?
6 - 8
Two 45-minute sessions
Students will demonstrate understanding of the importance of the relationship between producers and consumers by explaining how agricultural supply and demand affects commodity prices.
- Supply & Demand Vocabulary activity sheet, 1 per student
- Supply & Demand In Agriculture—Terminology handout, classroom set
- Rise or Fall PowerPoint (projector and screen)
- Graphing Supply and Demand Curves activity sheet, 1 per student
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
supply: a sellers' willingness and ability to produce and sell a product
demand: a consumers' willingness and ability to buy a product
commodities: a raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought and sold
consumer: a person who buys and uses up goods
Did you know? (Ag Facts)
- US consumers spend just 10 percent of their disposable income on food each year, while those in other countries spend much more.1
- On average, each person in the United States spends approximately $4500 per year on food.1
- There were 8268 farmers markets in 2014, a 180 percent increase since 2006.1
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- Choose an item that many of your students would want, such as a video game, movie, iPod, iPad, cell phone, etc. Find an average retail price for the product and write it on the middle of your white board.
- Ask students by the raise of hands how many of them would want that item for the average price. Record the number in the middle of the board.
- Next, raise the price of the item and ask the students to raise their hands if they are still interested in the item for the higher price. Record the number on the far right side of the board.
- Now lower the price to below average and count how many students are interested in the item. Summarize this activity and introduce the lesson topic. Students will learn about the basic principles of supply and demand and how supply and demand affects market prices.
Activity 1: Will It Rise or Fall?
- Give each student one Supply and Demand Vocabulary activity sheet along with one Supply and Demand In Agriculture—Terminology handout. Allow students time to complete the activity sheet. Help students determine how to illustrate each term as needed. Once students complete the vocabulary activity sheet, they should have a basic understanding of supply and demand and the associated terms.
- Use the Rise or Fall PowerPoint to illustrate examples of situations that make supply and demand rise and fall. With each example instruct students to give you a “thumbs up” if the supply or demand rises and a “thumbs down” if it falls. Use additional examples as necessary for student comprehension.
Activity 2: Graphing Supply and Demand Curves
- Begin this section by doing a class activity. Get a candy bar and hold it up in front of the class. Tell students that you are going to hold an auction. Auctions sell items by starting at a low price and eventually selling to the highest bidder.
- Begin the auction by offering the candy bar for 25 cents. Each student who is willing to pay 25 cents for the candy bar should raise his or her hand. Count the students and record the number on a graph.
- Continue the auction by increasing the bid by 25 cents and recording how many students are willing to purchase the candy bar at each price level.
- Continue until no students (zero) are willing to pay for the candy bar. The resulting graph will show a demand curve. The graph can be drawn on the board or created on the computer.
- Once you have completed the example in class, pass out the Graphing Supply and Demand activity sheet, and allow students time to complete it. Review math and graphing principles as necessary for successful completion.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
- Elaborate on careers in advertising and marketing by gathering commercials promoting agriculture and specific food products to share and discuss with students. For example:
- Explain that each of these commercials and ad campaigns required graphic designers, videographers, dieticians, etc. for successful completion.
- After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- The economic value of agricultural products is affected by supply and demand.
- Farmers depend on consumers to purchase their products and consumers depend on farmers to produce the things they need and want.
- Careers in advertising and marketing help farmers sell their products and consumers find the products they want.
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
Suggested Companion Resources
- What Is Agriculture? (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- Taking Care of Business (DVD) (Multimedia)
- Food and Farm Facts Booklet (Booklets & Readers)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Culture, Society, Economy & Geography
- Consider the economic value of agriculture in America. (T5.6-8.a)
- Explain how prices for agricultural goods are determined (T5.6-8.d)
Education Content Standards
Career Ready Practices
CRP.10.1Identify career opportunities within a career cluster that match personal interests, talents, goals and preferences.
Economics Standard 7: Markets and Prices
ObjectiveIdentify markets in which they have participated as a buyer and as a seller and describe how the interaction of all buyers and sellers influences prices. Also, predict how prices change when there is either a shortage or surplus of the product available.
Common Core Connections
Mathematics: Practice Standards
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP7Look for and make use of structure. Students look closely to discern a pattern or structure. They recognize the significance of an existing line in a geometric figure and can use the strategy of drawing an auxiliary line for solving problems. They also can step back for an overview and shift perspective. They can see complicated things, such as some algebraic expressions, as single objects or as being composed of several objects.