Teaching Economics with a Mentor Text

We are currently in the middle of our economics unit in social studies.  Today, I would like to share a great mentor text we used to address some vocabulary, including producer, consumer, needs, wants, goods, and services.

This post shares a great mentor text and two freebies to supplement your economics unit.

Dragon Pizzeria is about two dragons, BeBop and Spike, who own a pizzeria.   BeBop provides the goods (pizza), and Spike provides the service (delivery).  Together, the two dragons are the producers, and they need a variety of resources to satisfy their consumers.  Their consumers are all fairy tale characters, so their requests are far different from the average pepperoni pizza order!

A fantastic mentor text for economics - Dragons are producers, and fairy tale characters are the consumers.  They order some interesting pizzas!

Part of the fun of this book is to read the descriptions of the pizzas and have the students guess who the consumers are.  Some were fairly obvious, like the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk.  However, some were a little tricky.

Dragon Pizzeria is a fantastic mentor text for economics.  Dragons are producers, and fairy tale characters are the consumers.  They order some interesting pizzas!

At the end of the book, we discussed the capital resources need to create such a wide variety of products which led to a discussion on supply and demand.  We also had an interesting discussion on whether the pizzas that were ordered were wants or needs.  Some argued that the pizzas were a need because they were food.  Others thought they were a want because you don’t have to have pizza.  You could just make something at home.

One of the original focuses of this lesson was the difference between goods and services.  We ended our discussion by coming back to this concept.  To assess students’ understanding, I made a worksheet to use as a formative assessment.  I also created a worksheet to assess wants and needs.  You can have both of these resources for free by clicking here or on the picture below.

Enjoy using these two free worksheets with your economics unit.  They assess students' understanding of goods and services & wants and needs.

Do you have a favorite mentor text you use when teaching economics?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Thank you!

Teaching blogger for elementary teachers

Mary Wingert, licensed educator (K-12 Special Ed. & 1-8 General Ed)

I started teaching in 1993.   I have taught special education, fifth grade, and fourth grade.  I moved to second grade in 2015, and I am still there today.  

I believe in teaching strategies that are effective, differentiated, and engaging. I am looking forward to building a community of teachers who feels the same!  Read more here.