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Economics of Commodities

Level C: Hog Wild: Fluctuations in Commodities Markets

This model illustrates how a commodity often oscillates over time based on supply, demand, and price. Students explore a pork commodity, comparing simulation results given two scenarios for large and small farms.


Learning goals:

  • Represent and interpret data on a line graph.
  • Identify producers (the supply side) and consumers (the demand side) in the model.
  • Articulate the role of price in a marketplace.
  • Explain what happens to price when the supply is low and how that affects producers.
  • Illustrate the path to market for a commodity.
  • Compare large-scale farming to small-scale farming in terms of impact and practicality.

Student Challenge:

  • As a journalist writing for the local newspaper, investigate small versus large-scale farming practices and report on the impact and practicality of different methods.

Curricular Connections:

  • Math: Vary assumptions, explore consequences, and compare predictions with data.
  • National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: How people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services; scarcity of resources; and economic needs versus wants.
  • Economics: Prices send signals and provide incentives to buyers and sellers.

Simulation: Hog Wild: Fluctuations in Commodities MarketsA Wild Ride: Understanding Commodity Prices

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