Supply and demand is an economic theory and a pretty easy concept to understand, but seeing it as something fun to learn about is a bit more challenging. A loved childhood game of musical chairs is an ideal activity that brings students out of their “reluctant to learn” mentality. Of course, there are always those few students that are “too cool” for a game of musical chairs, but we use that to our advantage.
Starting off with a short discussion of a few important economic terms, students are then asked to arrange the chairs in a circle. Instructors announce that they will be playing musical chairs. Some faces will light up while others will look confused about how it is relevant. After explaining how the game relates to supply and demand as well as what the prize is at the end of the game, students are asked to raise their hand if they are planning to win the game. Instructors will count the number of hands and the number of chairs and ask if they will need to try hard for a chair. If the supply is higher than the demand, there is little need to try too hard. The game is played until there is an equilibrium and paused for a short discussion.
Those students that were a little “too cool” at the beginning tried really hard not to smile, but by this point, we have broken through their comfort zone. The game is completed to find a single winner. The class has a final discussion about how learning financial “stuff” is pretty easy and can actually be FUN!