Lesson: Opportunity Cost

Time: 60 minutes


  • Identify the opportunity cost of a decision.

  • Apply the concepts of scarcity, trade-offs, and opportunity cost to a decision by a hypothetical high school student (Franklin) who had to choose how to use his after-school time among three alternatives.

  • Explain the rationale for the recommended decision.

Additional prep required: Task card from Activity 3 in (PDF)


  • Video: explanation, timer

  • Do now

  • Group instructions

  • recommendations to an imaginary high schooler)


  1. Do Now

  2. Video: What is Opportunity Cost?

  3. Opportunity Cost…in Minecraft? (or village settlement if students are unfamiliar with survival sandbox games)

  4. Franklin’s Decision


Written explanations of recommendation based on persuasive writing.

Recommended Extension: Applying A Decision-Making Model: You & Your Future (PDF)


  • Focus: Economics of Personal Decision Making – Activity 3: Franklin’s Decision (PDF) (National Council for Economic Education)