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Database Provider


Center for Ecoliteracy


4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Social Studies, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheet

Regional Focus




Needs and Wants Activity

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  • This activity has students differentiate between needs and wants using picture cards to sort them.
  • Students also think about which things are often thrown away.
  • This resource will promote student conversations, critical thinking, and collaboration.
Teaching Tips


  • This activity is engaging and will get students talking.
  • Everything needed to complete the activity is included in the resource, with just a bit of teacher preparation.

Additional Prerequisites

  • In order to complete this activity, you will need to print the included cards, cut them, and place them in an envelope or baggie for each partnership or group.


  • This activity would work well in social studies or language arts classes, where students are learning about the basic requirements of societies or learning to debate.
  • This activity would make a great station during a station-rotation model where students complete a different activity at each station.
  • As an extension, have students create their own cards to add to the pack detailing other wants or needs they would like to discuss.
  • Science classes can use this activity to connect to lessons about the basic requirements of living organisms, homeostasis, metabolism, and habitats.
Scientist Notes
This resource has students distinguish between needs and wants and is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.5.4 Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
      • SL.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
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