Pack Up


Students will identify the difference between needs and wants.


  • Chart Paper/Marker
  • Bottle of Water
  • Cell Phone, video game, or other non-essential item


Show students a bottle of water and a non-essential item.  Ask students which is more important for survival. Explain to the students that there are “needs” or essential items and there are “wants” or non-essential items.  

Create a T-chart for Needs and Wants. Have students brainstorm different wants and needs and list ideas on the T chart. 

Discuss five items that immigrants might have brought with them on their journey to America in the 1800’s.  What types of items might children have brought with them?

Allow students to think about what items are important to them. What items are essential and what items are non-essential?

Have students create a list of items that they would take on a journey to another country. Explain that they will only be able to take 10 essential items and 3 non-essential items from their list.

Students will list their 10 essential and 3 non- essential items for their journey in their suitcase.


Check that all students recognize the difference between a need and a want through the lists created on the pack up activity sheet.


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