October 13, 2015
By Angela Coleby

Lesson plan

Do I Need It? Wants vs. Needs

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Students will be able to define and distinguish needs and wants. Students will be able to examine why people need shelter, clothes, water, and food to live.

(5 minutes)
  • Pretend to be a parent in a house.
  • Go to various students, and fulfill each need everyone has. For example, go to some students and pretend to feed them with a spoon. Move to others, and pretend to wash their clothes and hang them outside to dry. Pretend it is beginning to rain, and come back inside and put the clothes on other students.
  • Throughout this pretend play, speak aloud to let the students know what is happening.
(20 minutes)
  • Ask your class to recall what happened, and have them identify the various needs that were addressed by the parent.
  • Tell students that people need shelter, food, water, and clothes. Write these on the board.
  • Explain why people need shelter, food, water, and clothes. For example: Our bodies need water to keep working. Food gives us vitamins and minerals we need to live. We need clothes to cover our bodies and keep us warm. They also protect us from the sun. We need shelter to protect us from the sun, rain, wind, cold, and heat. We also need it so we have a place to rest.
  • Discuss with the class what would happen if people didn't have each thing.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide your students into groups of four.
  • Give each group glue and a poster divided into two, with one side labeled WantsAnd the other side labeled Needs.
  • Give each student in the group three cutout pictures from the Wants Vs. Needs worksheet.
  • Tell the students to work together to paste the pictures of wants on the WantSide of the poster and the pictures of needs on the NeedsSide.
  • Have students write their names on the bottom of their posters.
(15 minutes)
  • Give students the Wants and Needs worksheet to complete.
  • Tell students to draw one thing they need and one thing they want, such as a roof over their heads and a stuffed animal.
  • Invite several students to say what they drew for each category.
  • Enrichment:For advanced students, have them draw several things they want and need instead of only one. Instruct them to label their drawings on their Wants and Needs worksheet. For example, if they draw a toy truck, they would label it with the word Truck. Ask your students to give reasons for why something is a Need.
  • Support:Ask your students to identify what they drew on their worksheets, and label their drawings for them. Call on students to draw pictures of people with the objects they listed to show them in context. For example, if a student wrote that soda is a need, have him draw a picture of a person with soda, and invite the class to discuss why this is or isn't a need.
  • Create a presentation with pictures of wants and needs.
  • Using a projector and laptop, play a game with the class using the pictures in the presentation.
  • Have class shout WantIf they see a want and NeedIf they see a need.
(5 minutes)
  • Walk around, and check students' worksheets for understanding.
  • Make sure that they drew pictures in the correct sections, and challenge them to give a reason for why something might be a Need.
(5 minutes)
  • Call up a member from each group to show the group's poster.
  • Discuss what was pasted on each side of the table.
  • Ask the class to confirm whether or not the items are in the correct area.

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