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Markets and Basic Economics #1: Markets Around the World

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Lesson Overview:

In this Unit of Inquiry, students learn about markets, business, and simple economics.  This is a “tuning-in” lesson that allows the students to observe several buyers, sellers, and products.  Take a virtual field trip and visit markets around the world!  Your students will identify basic economic players in each market and capture a few interesting facts as they go.  Tsukiji Fish Market, here we come!

Lesson Plan:

Suggested Grades:



To identify buyers, sellers, and products in at least four world markets.  (AASL 2.3.1, “Connect understanding to the real world.”)

Suggested Time:

40-45 minutes

Success Criteria:

Each student will capture the buyer, seller, and products sold at four iconic world markets.

Lesson Outline:

1. Introduction:

Ask students what the last things were that they purchased.  Ask where the purchases were made.  Ask if anyone has ever been to a market.  What kind of a market was it?  Where was it located?  What attracted the student or his parents to this market?  Let the students share a bit of their experiences at markets.

Explain to the students that today they’ll be taking a virtual field trip to several markets around the world.  As they travel, they’ll need to look out for those features common to all markets:  Sellers, Products, and Buyers.

Distribute the student handouts (attached) and ask the students to read through the assignment.  Check for questions and then head out to the markets!

2. Main:   

Show the video of the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.  I typically stop at the 4:00-minute mark.  There are a lot of quick facts given right at the beginning, so you may want to pause so that the kids can make some quick notes at the start.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-eoIxfycf8

Show the video of the Shanghai Pet Market.  Play only the first few minutes, enough for the children to get an idea of what the market looks and sounds like:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sidSsKKiPpk

Show the video of the Cattle Market in the U.S.A.  Note: The auctioneer speaks very, very quickly.  There is some helpful information at the beginning.  Listen and teach the children the meaning of the words “weaned,” “steers,” and “heifers.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACKT5jWJHTI&t=24s

Show the video of the Sarojini Surplus Market in India.  Note: This is a surplus market, and you may need to teach the kids the meaning of the word “surplus.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DusLAM5K60

If there is remaining time, show the video of Paris Flea Markethttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJA6I-ZaoTY

If there is remaining time, show the video of London’s Portobello Road Markethttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxUqMQB26F8

Give the children a few minutes to complete their notes.  It’s perfectly fine if they help one another.  They should have at least two or three quick facts for each market.

Normally my students only have time to watch and take notes on four markets.  The lesson is written with six markets, but I normally run out of time after four.

3. Conclusion:

Encourage the children to attend a market this week, if possible, and to pay attention to the number and types of buyers, sellers, and products.  Challenge them to think about what kind of stall they would like to have if they became a market seller.

  1. Copies of the student handout, “Markets Around the World” (attached)
  2. Video of Tsukiji Fish Market: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-eoIxfycf8
  3. Video of Sarojini Surplus Market in India: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DusLAM5K60
  4. Video of the Cattle Market: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACKT5jWJHTI&t=24s
  5. Video of Shanghai Pet Market: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sidSsKKiPpk
  6. Video of Paris Flea Market: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJA6I-ZaoTY
  7. Video of Portobello Road Market: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxUqMQB26F8
  8. Equipment and playback capability to show the students the world market clips.

Notes:  I have provided links to six world markets, but there are many others.  You could choose a car market, a flower market in India, a meat market, or a textile/fabric market.  The possibilities are endless.  Please choose the markets you think your students would be most interested in.

I have found that the students all understand the concepts of buyers, sellers, and products.  Thus, this lesson simply expands their understanding by providing more examples.

My students have been fascinated by the products at the Japanese fish markets.  The frozen tuna carcasses at 4:00 AM really grab their attention.  And, they have been overwhelmingly delighted by the sellers’ technique at the Cattle Market.  Not many of them have ever heard an auctioneer before!  This is an easy “tuning-in” lesson that the kids really seem to enjoy.  It provides great note-taking practice while being a strong tie to the UoI.

Recommended books for this lesson:


Key Terms:

Buyers, Sellers, Products, Markets, Virtual Field Trip

Student Handout, Markets Around the World