Demand, Supply & Market Equilibrium 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.

Gaining a basic understanding of demand, supply, and market equilibrium is an important part of developing comprehension of economics. This lesson offers some activities you can use to supplement your instruction.

Teaching Demand, Supply and Market Equilibrium

Whether you teach high school economics or social studies, you probably spend some time instructing your students on the concepts of demand, supply, and market equilibrium. After all, understanding these concepts is a key aspect of being able to make sense of economics overall.

As you work on helping your students deepen their comprehension of demand, supply, and market equilibrium, you also want to make sure they stay motivated and engaged with their learning. This means finding ways to appeal to a variety of learning styles and give students hands-on, active experiences.

The activities in this lesson are oriented toward teaching your students more about economics while also helping them take ownership over their own learning.

Historical Activities

In this section, you will find activities that help students take a historical perspective on these economic topics.

Biography of a Thinker

Ask students to work in small groups for this activity. Their task is to research one of the key thinkers in the history of supply and demand theory, such as Locke, Smith, or Denham-Steuart.

Students should discover the theorist's major contributions, beliefs, and any controversies surrounding their approach. Then, they should create a poster that introduces others to the person they are working with. Leave time for students to learn from and admire each other's posters.

Examples and Counterexamples

This is an activity students can do alone or with partners. Have them research examples of supply, demand and market equilibrium from the history of global economics.

Encourage each pair to come up with one example of when supply and demand theory really played out as expected and one example where something unexpected happened. Then, have students create short skits to represent the two scenarios they have researched. When they perform their skits, you will have very diverse representations of world economic history.

Conceptual Activities

These activities help students understand the ideas behind these aspects of economics.

Graph Supply, Demand, and Equilibrium

This is a great activity for your visual learners and should be done in partnerships or small groups.

Ask students to look at a few different visual representations of the concepts of demand, supply and market equilibrium. Then, have them create their own graphs or charts that illustrate their way of understanding these concepts and the ways that when demand and supply intersect, equilibrium is created. Leave time for students to present their graphs and discuss their different ideological interpretations of the task.

Demand, Supply, and Equilibrium Glossary

Understanding the concepts of demand, supply, and equilibrium also requires a substantial economics vocabulary, including terms like microeconomics, wages, labor, market, substitutes, and complements.

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