Activity 3-1
Personal Consumer Choices



  • To develop a detailed awareness of one's buying habits
  • To evaluate one's consumption habits and consider change to these habits


Student Handout: Personal Consumer Choices


One week of homework and one-two class periods to set up and debrief


The Consumer Record and a written analysis of the Consumer Record can be evaluated for completion and insight.


utility necessity luxury

elastic demand inelastic demand disposal

Suggested Procedure

1. Have students read handout - "Personal Consumer Choices." Have students set up their charts on a separate piece of paper or in their notebook.

2. Tell students what you consumed on a recent day to show students how and what to record in their charts.

3. During the week of recording, ask students if they have any questions and discuss what they are discovering about their consumption habits. Try to do this activity the week before you start your Consumer unit, so students won't change or rethink their usual habits during the activity.

4. After the week of recording, have students analyze their habits by writing a response to the following questions:

a. What items could you NOT live without?

b. What items could you live without?

c. Roughly, how much did you throw away? recycle? set aside for reuse?

d. What might be the benefits of consuming less?

e. Looking over your Consumer Record, is there anything you would want to change? What? Why or why not?

5. Have students discuss their responses. From discussion, derive concepts of necessity, luxury, elastic demand, inelastic demand and utility.


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