Wants vs. Needs – Basic

Scripture: Numbers 10-11

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review God’s provisions of quail for the Israelites during their time in the desert.
  • Students will practice identifying wants vs. needs and write reasonable shopping lists using these skills.

Guiding Questions:

What are the differences between wants and needs?

How does my knowledge of wants and needs effect what I choose to buy?

Materials: Things that represent wants and needs. These can be actual objects or pictures/ representations. Examples: bread, local crop, wood/ brick for house shelter, water, pictures of friends/family for relationships, toys, candy, etc.

Procedure: Review the story of God providing the Israelites with quail emphasizing how the Israelites’ needs were being met. Review the needs that a human must have met in order to live: food, water, shelter, relationships. Discuss that the Israelites needed food. Did God provide it? Yes. How? Manna. Then they wanted quail. God was gracious enough to provide that as well. Review how the Israelites grew tired of the quail just as God said they would.

Show students different things that will be used to sort wants vs. needs. Have labels on each object so that students can read them. Draw two large circles with chalk or tape on the ground. You could also use two hula hoops. Have students choose an object, read the label and determine whether it is a need or want.

As a class, show students how to write a list for shopping at the store/market. Use the objects that were sorted to guide them. When a student suggests an item discuss whether it is a want or need and why. Explain how lists are helpful for keeping us focused when shopping so that we don’t get distracted by other unexpected wants that can cost more money.

Additional Questions:

  • Have you ever wanted something, received it, and then realized it was not as great as you had hoped? Tell about it.
  • How can you share things that are wants and needs with others?

Supplemental Activity: If time and resources allow, take students to the local store or market to purchase the needed items on the list that the class made. Practice not becoming distracted by people trying to see additional wants.

Written by: Savannah Negas

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