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Elementary Economics

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Elementary Economics

What should our elementary students be learning in economics, why is it important, and how should we facilitate this knowledge?

Click the '+' to read about the content and skills that elementary students should learn in economics.

Content and Skills

Click the '+' to read about why is it importnat to create economically literate elementary students.


Click the link to read about age-appropriate activities to facilitate economics education in elementary and view my references.

Age-Appropriate Activities




  • Good financial habits
  • Thinking economically
  • Strong decision making skills
  • Seeing the benefits and costs of decisions

Elementary economics education is one of the most important things young students will learn. The main benefit of early economics education is that it creates smart,economically literate decision makers. Students at this age are not yet producing income or earning a paycheck. However, this does not mean that their wants are reduced. Children still want things, so it is important for them to learn the basics of bartering, trading, goods, services, and currency. Having these skills will allow students to create a strong foundation in economics so that they can build on it as they grow older and get into the real world.

learning economics in elementary

The Importance of

1. People Choose2. All Choices Involve Cost3. People Respond to incentives in Predictable Ways4. Economic Systems Influence Incentives and Individual Choices5. Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth6. The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future

in elementary economics

Content and Skills

Students should be introduced to economics when they are young because it improves decision making and critical thinking. Elementary students should learn the unique differences between needs and wants. However, when we teach these differences we must be specific. For example, humans need food but they don't need Taco Bell. Understanding these differences will make young learners think more economically and make better decisions. Students should also learn about goods and services and how these things can be used to their benefit/gain. Elementary students need to learn the value of money and other types of currencies. This aspect of money is not as crucial to learn in the early years due to the fact that they are not making any money or earning a paycheck. Students should also be learning the aspects of supply and demand in elementary economics as well as entrepreneurship and the global economy. This will help students grow their knowledge in how they can generate their own profit in more ways than just money. Economic decision making is a key skill that students need to be developing throughout elementary school. These skills are learned through teaching the six different principles of economics.

The 6 Core Economic Principles