Grades: Upper Elementary / Middle
To develop an understanding of the role of markets in Asian countries
To develop place and
location of southern India
To develop a cultural
understanding (significance) of markets
To understand the different
kinds of markets
To understand barter
and exchanging of goods
A market is a place that brings people together that want to sell/trade
goods that they have produced or bought and buy/trade goods they want.
Markets are not just places to buy goods. They are colorful, busy places
where people come together to meet, talk, and take care of their family’s
needs. The price of goods is worked out after much talk about a fair
price or exchange. Barter is the simplest type of exchange. In this
lesson the market price of the item is decided by the exchange of another
item (e.g. one Twins baseball cap = two Snickers candy bars). Bartering
is an effective means of trade.
Video (13 minutes) (You will need Quicktime to view the video.
You can download it for free here).
- Books about markets
- Parent letter sent out a week before Market Day
- Used Goods brought in by students for the simulation
Markets exist all over the world. Explain to the class that they are
going to see two Indian markets (fish market and village market) in
the video. Have students brainstorm markets they have been to or know
Explain types of markets.
Street markets are a
cultural part of daily life in Asia. People come to buy fresh fish,
meat, vegetables and fruits. This is important because it is hard
to keep fresh food in India’s hot climate. Many markets also
have stalls where people cook and sell food for people that are walking
Village markets are
found in many Asian countries. People bring goods they made or have
grown in or around their village. It is usually a special day when
many families come into the village to get supplies and trade/sell
their wares. Many other goods are also found here. The market is organized
in stalls by products (e.g. fruits, meats, hardware, clothes).
City markets are held
in areas of the city on the streets and sidewalks. They are for people
to buy and sell goods without having to pay for buildings. The stalls
are organized by the items that people sell. Each area specializes
in specific goods (e.g. hardware, clothes, food).
& Department stores are similar to stores we have
in the United States.
- What types of things
can you buy at a market?
- What kind of bargaining is possible at a market?
Students should bring used items from home to barter with. No cash is
Arrange desks in a large circle. Give the students a few minutes to
set up their booths (desks).
Once everyone is set up, divide the class
into two groups. Allow the first group a couple minutes to look at the
items brought in by other classmates, and then the second group. No
bartering can take place yet.
Allow students to begin bartering/trading.
Allow as much time as needed (30-40 minutes).
Lead the class in a discussion about Market
day. What were the advantages of exchange? Were there any problems?
What did you exchange and why? How were Price determined? How is bartering
different than buying goods at a store?
- To Market, by Julie Hamstom, Keith Pigdon, Marilyn Wolley
- “How Trade Creates Wealth” from the Foundation
for Teaching Economics (FTE)
- Lessons about Asia http://www.curriculum.edu.au/accessasia/catalog/lesson.htm
Economic vocabulary: supply and demand, market
Foreign language would add vocabulary of items and price.