Aggregate Demand & Supply Activities for High School

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As your students learn about macroeconomics, they will encounter the concepts of aggregate demand and supply. This lesson provides activities that will bring these concepts to life for students.

Teaching Aggregate Demand and Supply

If you are teaching economics at the high school level, one thing you'll be helping your students understand is the relationship and the differences between microeconomics and macroeconomics. When you focus on macroeconomics, it will be important to teach students about the ideas of aggregate supply and demand

In economics, aggregate demand is the total demand for goods and services in the economy at one time, and aggregate supply represents how much of the goods and services are available altogether. Teaching students about these concepts requires them to think on a large scale.

You can use activities to help students deepen their understanding. The activities in this lesson focus on aggregate demand and supply at the high school level.

Aggregate Demand Activities

These activities will help your students specifically understand and tease out the meaning of aggregate demand.

Explaining Effects

Break your students into three small groups for this activity. One group should zero in on Pigou's wealth effect, one should work with Keynes' interest rate effect, and the final one should work with the Mundell-Fleming exchange rate effect.

If your class is big, then give two groups the same assignment to work with. Their job is to research the effect you have assigned them and create a poster that uses visuals to represent what their effect is all about and how it relates to aggregate demand. Leave plenty of time for students to share and discuss their posters with each other.

Acting Out the Curve

In this group activity, students will use their bodies to model the aggregate demand curve. Divide your class into groups of at least six. One student should act out C (consumption), another can be Y (consumers' income), and another can be T (taxes). The other three students should should represent I (investment), G (government spending), and N (net exports).

Ask students to enact a skit or dance that shows the relationship among the different variables they represent. Each student should 'introduce' his/herself, and then they should work together to show how they create an aggregate demand curve. Let students view and discuss each other's performances.

Aggregate Supply Activities

Here, you will find activities that focus on what aggregate supply is all about.

Aggregate Supply Comic

This activity is one that students can work on independently or with partners. Ask students to draw a comic strip that explains the concept of aggregate supply.

Their comics should show what the Keynesian, intermediate, and classical ranges are and what it means for an economy to produce within the classical range. Students should rely on a mixture of images and words within their comics. Leave time for them to share their work with classmates!

Organizing It

This is a good activity for students to work on with partners. Ask each pair to create a three-column graphic organizer. One column should represent short run aggregate supply, one should represent long run aggregate supply, and the third should represent medium run aggregate supply.

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