Target Grade Level / Age Range

4th-5th Grade      


65 minutes        


Students will gain an understanding of supply and demand, making predictions for the price of future egg prices.  


  • Headbands or large rubber band to fit over students’ heads
  • Headbandz pictures cut out and laminated
  • Timer
  • Card stock
  • An article from the Kansas City Star about the effects of the avian flu
  • Large butcher paper
  • Highlighters
  • A table with 2015 monthly egg prices/graph paper

Suggested Companion Resources (books, websites, etc.)


  • Consumer – Someone who buys a product (i.e. food, clothing, services).
  • Demand – How much people want a particular product and are willing to pay for it.
  • Price – The amount of money that must be spent to purchase a certain product (i.e. food clothing, services).
  • Producer – A person who makes a product (i.e. food, clothing services).
  • Supply –  The amount of a product (i.e. food, clothing, services) that is available for people to purchase.

Interest Approach or Motivator

The lesson will begin with a “Bell Ringer” in which the class will play Headbandz using five key words (barn, chicken, farmer, egg, and flu).  The bell ringer will be used to introduce students to the subject for the lesson, “bird flu”.  After completing all five words, allow students to speculate on the subject of today’s lesson. Use instruction sheet “Lesson #1 Bell Ringer.”

Background – Agricultural Connections

Avian influenza was first confirmed in the United States on in January of 2015. Since then, millions of birds have been infected and killed. This has caused an extreme decrease in the number of chickens, turkeys and other fowl on the market, as well as significantly decreased the nation’s supply of eggs.

Iowa is the nation’s number one egg producing state, and has thriving broiler chicken and turkey industries. Because of this, Iowa has been significantly affected by the avian influenza.

Birds that come from infected farms are not allowed to be processed or sold. According to the USDA and medical experts, this strain is not known to cause illness in people and poses no risk to poultry farmers or processing plant workers.


  1. Ask students to read the news article, published by the Kansas City Star, about rising egg prices.  This article, which has been adapted by Newsela, will be available to the students at two different decile levels, depending on the student’s reading ability. Students should read the article silently and independently.
    1. Once students have finished reading the text, ask students to work with their elbow partner in answering the questions presented on Worksheet A.  Students must write down their responses and be able to support their answers with text.  Each pair should take turns, with one of the two reading a question, and the other responding to the question.  Encourage students to challenge their partner’s answers if they believe their answers to be incorrect.
    2. Discuss each question as a class.  Ask groups to defend their answers.
  2. Provide students with yellow and blue highlighters.  Tell them they must highlight special key words as you reread the article to the entire class.  Begin by revisiting the definitions of “consumer”, “products” and “producer”.  As you read, chunk up the article, stopping to ask students to share their choices before moving on. While rereading ask students to:
    1. Use a yellow highlighter to highlight any examples of people or companies that are “consumers” of eggs.  Duplicate the list on chart paper titled “consumers of eggs”.
    2. Use a blue highlighter to highlight examples from the article that are examples of “products” made from eggs.  Add this list to the chart paper.
    3. Circle one example of a “producer” of eggs and record answer on their worksheet.
    4. Finish worksheet B by asking students to determine for each remaining vocab word (price, supply, and demand), if the bird flu has causes a decrease or increase.  Ask students to circle one of the two words. Discuss.
    5. Conclude by asking students to explain the concept of “supply and demand” in their own words.  After discussing, be sure students can verbally explain “supply and demand” which is the lesson’s objective.
  3. Hand out Worksheet C, which is a table with the average monthly price of a dozen eggs since January of 2015 and graph paper.  As a class and individually
    1. Determine the appropriate type of graph to use (a line graph because used to show change over time).
    2. Determine the appropriate scale (increment) by considering the range of prices.
    3. Graph the ordered pairs (month, price) and connect the ordered pairs using a ruler.
    4. Discuss any trends.  Are students surprised?  Why or why not?
    5. Ask each pair of students to predict the price for the coming month.  Students need to defend their answers by considering the “supply and demand” in the upcoming months.  Will there continue to be a shortage of eggs?

Essential Files

Extension Activities

  • Ask students to investigate what other companies or jobs in their community have been impacted by the avian flu.  Students may use community people and parents as resources. 
  • Have students complete Worksheet D on their own.


Connie Van Meeteren – 5 th grade math teacher at Sheldon Middle School

National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes

  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Outcomes
    • Explain the harmful and beneficial impacts of various organisms related to agricultural production and processing (e.g., harmful bacteria/beneficial bacteria, harmful/beneficial insects) and the technology developed to influence these organisms
  • Culture, Society, Economy & Geography Outcomes
    • Describe how supply and demand impact the price of agricultural goods

Iowa Core Standards

  • Math
    • 5.0A.B.3  Form ordered pairs consisting of corresponding terms from the two patterns, and graph the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane.
    • 5.MD.B.2 Represent and interpret data
    • 5.G.A.1  Use a pair of perpendicular number lines, called axes, to define a coordinate system, with the intersection of the lines (the origin) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane located by using an ordered pair of numbers, called its coordinates. Understand that the first number indicates how far to travel from the origin in the direction of one axis, and the second number indicates how far to travel in the direction of the second axis, with the convention that the names of the two axes and the coordinates correspond (e.g., x–axis and x–coordinate, y–axis and y
    • 5.G.A.2  Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation.
  • English Language Arts:
    • RI.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the test says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
    • RI.4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize teh text.
    • RI.4.3 Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
    • RI.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
    • RI.5.2 Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
    • CRI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • Social Studies:
    • SS.4.12. Using historical and/or local examples, explain how competition has influenced the production of goods and services.
    • SS.4.14. Explain the reasons why the costs of goods and services rise and fall.


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