Grade Levels: K-3

This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about needs and wants The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Needs and Wants. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.

The relationship between needs and wants is an important lesson for your children to learn and understand. A need is something an organism must have in order to survive. For example, people need air, food, water, and shelter. A want is something someone would like to have. For example, bikes, video games, and televisions are all wants; people can survive without them. Encourage your children to think about their needs and wants.

Many people have jobs and work to earn money in order to meet their needs and wants. We recommend watching the Dollars and Cents movie together as a review. Explain to your children that people can use their money to buy goods and services. Goods are things that are made or grown and usually something you can see or touch. Have your children look around them and find examples of different goods. Remind your children that crops are goods. A service is work that someone does for someone else. For example, an auto mechanic provides the service of repairing vehicles, a teacher provides the service of instructing students, and a doctor provides the service of monitoring patients health and treating illnesses. Discuss different services that people need and offer. A producer is someone who makes or grows goods or offers services. Farmers, carpenters, librarians, and manufacturers are examples of producers. A consumer is someone who buys goods and services. Have your children identify different items they consume and think about who might have produced them.

Your children should understand that people often want much more than they need. As a result, people must make choices about what they truly need and what they can afford. Offer different scenarios to help your children learn how to make smart choices with money. Should someone buy pet food and groceries or buy a new video game? Children should learn to buy what they need before what they want. Also help children become smart consumers by researching products and learning about where their money goes when they purchase a good or service. Why should you buy products made from recyclable materials? Why should you support local businesses in your community? By teaching the basic principles of economics and instilling responsible consumer skills now, your children will learn how to make smart and globally conscientious choices as adults.