What's the Big Deal about Spices?

This What's the Big Deal about Spices? activity & project also includes:

Today's gourmands don't consider spices to be the equivalent of silver and gold. During the middle ages, however, these commodities were precious. People back then used spices in religious ceremonies, to cure rotten food, and as a show of wealth, making them incredibly valuable. An engaging reading explores the use of prices, while a collaborative price analysis project demonstrates how price, supply, and demand are related in today's world and over 500 years ago. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Ask young economists to plot supply, demand, and price data using the included worksheets
  • Engage learners in real-world calculations using both historical data about spices and current grocery prices
Classroom Considerations

  • 19th of 23 lessons from the Council for Economic Education covering middle school world history
Pros

  • Lesson plans ask learners to think critically and engage in hands-on learning
  • Background readings and activities work independently of each other or as a unit
  • Activities are adaptable to a variety of learning styles
Cons

  • Link to grocery prices does not work, but learners can find values through other sources
Common Core