Learn Economics with Jake Compton

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Learn more about the economics of the fur trade with this Oregon Trail activity! Explore how monopolies and supply and demand economy work by looking at the different companies involved in this trade.



What Will I Learn?

Give examples of natural, human and capital resources.  Define productive resources. Demonstrate understanding of how uses of productive resources can enhance or diminish end products. Apply the use of productive resources as they build a house in Minecraft.

About Course

Students will use Minecraft to learn Economics

Guiding Ideas

SUBMITTED BY: The Council for Economic Education (CEE). For more free K-12 economic and personal finance lesson plans and resources, visit CEE’s teacher site, EconEdlink.   CONCEPTS Productive Resources, Capital Resources, Human Resources, Natural Resources   CONTENT STANDARDS Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics: Standard 1 – Scarcity. Productive resources are limited. Therefore, people cannot have all the goods and services they want; as a result, they must choose some things and give up others.   C3 Framework: D2.Eco.3.3-5 Identify examples of the variety of resources (human, capital, physical capital, and natural resources) that are used to produce goods and services. Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2—Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.     INTRODUCTION Understanding productive resources, the resources required to produce goods and services that people want, is important to understanding the economic world around us. There are three kinds of productive resources: human, natural, and capital. Human resources are the strength, education, and skills of people. Natural resources are the gifts of nature that are used to produce goods and services. Water, land, and minerals are examples of natural resources. Capital resources are the goods needed to produce or provide access to other goods and to supply services. Examples include buildings, equipment, tools, machinery, ports and other manufactured and constructed things. In this lesson, students will learn the definitions of resources and analyze their use in building a home within Minecraft. The Minecraft activity will take up the bulk of the lesson time.   RESOURCES

Performance expectations

The student should be able to:

  1. Each student should write a reflection on the uses of productive resources in their team project:
    1. Reflect on the capital resources they selected. Were they the right ones for their house? How did they affect the outcome of their home? [Answers will vary: tools, i.e. pickaxes, hoes, shovels, and axes; picked a hoe and ended up not building a farm, thus not making full use of their tools; picked two pickaxes but needed a hoe for their farm.]
    2. Reflect on how they allocated their human resources during the material-gathering process: did they spend enough time and have the right number of people on the tasks?
    3. Reflect on which natural resources they prioritized and how those resources contributed to their home value. How did their gathering process affect the physical appearance of the house? Were materials well allocated or does the house look unremarkable?
    4. Which resources did they find most valuable in the construction and gathering processes? Can any connections be drawn between how they valued their in-game resources and how resources are valued in the real world?

Student Activities

    1. Ask students what things are necessary to produce or build a house. [Answers will vary but should include such things as lumber, nails, saws, carpenters, drywall, roofers, and land.] Tell students that productive resources are the things used to produce a good or service. Point out that productive resources can be placed into three groups: human resources, natural resources or capital resources.
    2. Define the types of resources as follows:-
      1. Human resources are people who work to produce a good or service. Examples of human resources are a truck driver, plumber, teacher and nurse. Ask the students for other examples of human resources. Write the students’ responses on the board. Then show them Visual 1 – Human Resources in Minecraft.-
      2. Natural resources are things that occur naturally in the world and can be used to produce a good or service. These resources are gifts of nature and are present without human intervention. Examples of natural resources are natural gas, granite, deer and minerals. Ask the students for other examples of natural resources. Write the students’ responses on the board. Then show them Visual 2 – Natural Resources in Minecraft.-
      3. Capital resources are goods produced and used to make other goods and services. Examples of capital resources are an office building, computer, oven, and wrench. Ask the students for other examples of capital resources. Write the students’ responses on the board.  Then show them Visual 3 – Capital Resources in Minecraft.Recap by saying that productive resources are used to make goods and services that people buy every day. Ask students what things are necessary to cut hair.
      4. [Answers will  vary  but should include  things such as a comb, razor, clippers, electricity, scissors, hair stylist and so on.]Ask students to classify the productive resources used to produce a haircut as natural, human or capital resources. Record their answers on the   [Answers will vary but should include the following: Capital –  comb, razor, clipper; natural – water; human –  hair stylist. If students name the person whose hair is cut or the hair, explain that the consumer is not considered a resource.]

Age level 

  • 8 – 10 years old  


  • Citizenship
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking


  • Windows PC, Mac, Chromebook, or iPad
  • Access to  Minecraft Education Edition (included FREE with enrollment)

Instructors Bio




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