Sixth Grade - Social Studies



Supply & Demand at the Gold Rush

Financial and Economic Concepts: Supply and Demand

Sixth Grade – Social Studies

Standard 3: Students will understand the principles of civic responsibility in classroom, community, and country.

Objective 1: Describe the rights and responsibilities inherent in being a contributing member of a community.

You are an economic spotter! An economic spotter is someone who can spot examples of economic concepts in historical places. This lesson sends you in a time machine back to the Gold Rush! Yep, you are about to become a Forty-Niner! These Forty-Niners use picks and shovels instead of footballs. See which economic nuggets you can find hidden in them thar' hills!

Lots of people got rich during the Gold Rush, but amazingly some of the richest were the merchants who knew their laws of supply and demand! Those merchants who did not leave their stores to go and find gold actually ended up with the largest piles of gold. If you know your laws of supply and demand, it all "pans" out in the end!

Complete Lesson Plan Complete Lesson Plan

Interactive Quiz Student Lesson Plan with Interactive Quiz

Music Connection Music Connection

Back to Top

Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution

Financial and Economic Concepts: Productivity

Sixth Grade – Social Studies

Standard 3: Students will understand how revolutions have had an impact on the modern world.

Objective 1: Understand processes of revolution

Objective 2: Analyze the impact of selected revolutions.

Materials: computer, projector, any resources (visuals) desired to show students from lesson plan.  These are found under the titles “visuals” and “resources”.
Time: 60-80 Minutes (Time given is for full lesson – there are many neat ideas and sections that could be used for shorter time intervals.)

Advancements in transportation have played a key role in the growth of our nation. U.S. government policies have also had a considerable impact on the development of transport as we know it today. In this series of three lessons, the students examine the advancements in automobiles, roads, airlines and airports.

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT - Lower Opportunity Costs

When people travel, they consider the amount of time it will take to get from point A to point B. Time is considered a cost; travelers could be using time spent traveling doing something else. This chart offers a glimpse at how aviation reduced the opportunity cost of transatlantic travel for passengers during the 1900s.

Time to Cross the Atlantic
(New York – London)





6 days




81 hours (Dirigible)



14 hours (Sea Plane)


3.5 days

11 hours (Propeller Plane)



9 hours (Jet)



8 hours (Jet)
3.5 hours (Supersonic)

A similar impact occurred with travel across the nation. With the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, it was possible to travel from New York to California in five or six days. Today, the trip can be made by plane in 6 hours.

Washington Stree Scenes 1900s Washington Street Scenes 1900s

Transportation Infrastructure 1800-1900 Transportation Infrastructure 1800-1900

Transportation Technology Transportation Technology

PBS: How People Make Things PBS: How People Make Things

Complete Lesson Plan Complete Lesson Plan

Back to Top

Banking on Inflation

Financial and Economic Concepts: Free Markets and Prices

Sixth Grade – Social Studies

Standard 4: Students will understand current global issues and their rights and responsibilities in the interconnected world.

Objective 2: Explore current global issues facing the modern world and identify potential solutions.

Objective 3: Determine human rights and responsibilities in the world.

Materials: Mixed Economy PPT, writing materials for each pair of students
Time: 45 Minutes

Inflation affects more than the cost of insurance—it affects the prices of items you buy every day.  This worksheet helps students compare prices of the past and anticipate prices rising in the future.

Note to Teachers: The answers are on the worksheet so be sure to mark them out!

Student Worksheet Student Worksheet (pdf)

Music Connection Music Connection