Lesson Plan Title : Learning to Trade

Age Range: Kindergarten through grade 2 (Early Elementary)

Overview and Purpose: Students often trade items among themselves. However, as adults, we are often uncomfortable bartering or trading. This lesson will help students understand how the Pilgrims and Indians both got the goods that they wanted.

Objective: The student will be able to trade items with classmates to get the items that they want.


Several different items including stickers, pens, and treats

Paper bag


Ahead of time, place the small items in a paper bag. Ask your students if any of them have ever traded something they had for something they wanted. Let several of them share their stories. Divide the class into groups. Have each group choose several items from the bag and lay them on one of the group's desks.

Invite two groups to go to the other groups and look at what they have. If they find something they want, tell them they have to offer to trade for it. Help both sides ask for what they want and then offer compromises until both sides agree. Have the students complete the trade. Continue until all the groups have had a turn. (Remind students often that this is just an activity and they should treat each other with respect.)

At the end of the activity, offer to trade with any groups who want different items to take home.

Use the activity to explain to the students how the Pilgrims and Indians traded for supplies and gifts. Give them examples of some of the trades that were made. Have them discuss if they thought they were good trades and if they would have done anything differently.

Wrap Up:

Have the students write a journal entry about the activity. What did they like or dislike about the exercise. How do they think the Indians and Pilgrims felt about trading with each other?