2nd Grade New York

Economic Interdependence

This inquiry is an initial exploration into the concept of interdependence through the lens of community economics and the idea of an economy as a diverse, mutually supportive web of needs and wants, workers and consumers, and problems and solutions. The compelling question “What makes me become we?” challenges students to consider interdependence among individuals and groups and think about how a community is not just a bunch of individual “mes” living in a shared space but also a collective “we” that interacts, grows and contracts, and tries to solve issues. This inquiry builds on students’ first-grade knowledge and challenges them to understand that through businesses, town organizations, and local governments, a community meets the needs and wants of its people, finding strength in collective efforts to address problems.


Compelling Question:

What Makes Me Become We?

Staging the Question:

Discuss the meaning of the phrase “two heads are better than one.”

Supporting Question How do people meet their needs and wants?

Formative Task Brainstorm categories of workers, businesses, and organizations that meet communities’ needs and wants and why they are important.

Sources Source A: “Farmers Grow Corn”
Source B: “First in Her Family to Own a Home”
Source C: “Oranges from Tree to You”


Supporting Question What challenges do people face in meeting their needs and wants?

Formative Task Complete a three-part T-chart describing the challenges communities may experience due to scarcity.

Sources Source A: “Poor People Cannot Find Fresh and Healthy Food”
Source B: “Winter Usually Brings Snow and Water to California, but It’s Still Dry”


Supporting Question How can people work together to overcome the challenges of meeting their needs and wants?

Formative Task Write a claim to answer the supporting question and use examples to support it.

Sources Source A: “A Fruit Farm in a City”
Source B: “A Playground Problem”
Source C: Alex’s Lemonade Stand


Supporting Question

Formative Task


Summative Performance Task

Argument: What makes me become we? Write an argument that addresses the compelling question using specific claims and evidence from sources that discuss the relationship between individuals and groups of people.
Extension: Create a collage that shows people working together to solve a problem.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Brainstorm a list of economic challenges in the local community.
Assess: Choose a challenge to address and brainstorm ways to overcome it.
Act: Write a letter to a local government official that suggests a new approach to overcoming the challenge and explains the reasoning behind that suggestion.