Economic Incentives Lesson Plan

About This Lesson:

Students will learn the economic, social, and moral incentives found in our every day lives. They will also have a good understanding of why people act the way they do when money is involved.

Goals / Aims

1.I hope to clarify what economic incentives are to my students.
2. I aim to teach students to respect money and the control it can have over a human being.
3.I also hope to encourage students to enter the money market and manage their money successfully within it.


1.Students will learn the topic of economic incentives.
2. Students will be able to apply what they learn in the real world.
3.Students will understand why consumers and business act the way that they do.

Materials and Aids

Software Applications: None
Computer Equipment: Laptop
Video Equipment: VCR, DVD, projector


A. Introduction-

1. I will begin the lesson by going over the definition of incentives. Students will hear the difference between economic, social, and moral incentives.
2.Each student will provide at least one example of how incentives are used in their daily lives.
3.Each student will provide at least one example of how incentives are used among big corporations and or businesses.

B. Development-

1.A showing of the film "Freakonomics" will follow the introduction into incentives.
2.At the end of the movie I will ask the question "why do people cheat?" Students will asked to recall specific examples from the film supporting their answers. I.e. the sumo wrestlers.

C. Practice

Students will be broken up into four separate groups. Group 1 will have people with economic incentives, group 2 will have people with social incentives, and group 3 will have people with social incentives. The fourth group will be our average consumers looking for a deal or increase in income. Group 4 will be provided with tokens representing money. No one has more than $1,000. Their goal is to walk around the room and end up with the most money. Groups 1-3 are holding cards I created with incentives on them such as bonuses, discounts, and fines for economic incentive students, hosting parties and purchasing newest ipod for social incentive students, and advertising or donations for moral incentive students. As Group 4 walks around the room they must stop and talk to at least 1 person from each group. Whichever card they select from the person they choose to talk to, they must give up the money for it. Once everyone has walked around the room once, the remaining money will be counted and the person with the most money wins.

D. Independent Practice-

For homework I will request that the students bring in photos of economic, social, and moral incentives.

E. Accommodations (Differentiated Instruction)-

After the day of playing the incentives game I will show clips from various movies such as Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Joneses, Taladega nights, and Caddy Shack. After showing certain clips from movies I will ask the students to write the title of the movies we watched and describe an instance in each one where either economic, social, or moral incentives took place.

F. Checking for understanding

I will give the students an essay prompt and give them 30 minutes to complete it. They will need to define and provide specific examples for the 3 different types of incentives. They will also need to answer my question of "why do people cheat?" with at least 2 examples.

G. Closure

After the students have had 30 minutes to write their essays, I will give a closing lecture of incentives and mention that it is always possible for incentives to be conflicting.


There will only be one exam for this lesson. The exam will be in essay format and will be on the final day of our discussion on incentives.