The Basic Economic Problem in a Zoo
Introduction: This activity can be done individually or in small groups. It may be completed as a homework assignment or as an in-class activity. Divide the class into small groups (3 or 4 people). Each group is in charge of building a zoo.
Materials needed: Several A3 pieces of paper, scissors, tape or glue, and the images of animals available here.
Instructions for students: You and your teammates are the manager of a new business that has decided to open a zoo. Your zoo is a private, profit-seeking business that will charge admission to visitors. The purpose of the zoo , as with any business, is to earn a profit.
Your task is as follows:
Below each animal is the number of acres just one of the animals requires. For example, one lion requires 2 acres of land. If you want four lions, therefore, you must use 8 of your 25 acres for lions.
Take a large piece of paper (at least A3) and using a marker, design the layout of your zoo. The paper represents the 25 acres you have for animals. Once you have decided which animals to include, how many of each animal, and calculated how many acres are to be used for each animal, cut out the animals you have chosen and paste each animal into its dedicated enclosure.
Once you have completed construction of your zoo, answer the discussion questions that follow.
Once you have answered the discussion questions, view this presentation, which provides answers to the above questions for discussion as a class.
Lion- 2 acres
Turkey- 1/10 acre
Seal- 1/2 acre
Camel- 1/2 acre
Cheetah- 1 acres
Cow- 1/3 acre
Asian Elephant-1 acre
African Elephant - 3 acres
Reptile House-5 acres
Hammerhead Shark-1/2 acre
Tiger- 1 acre
House of Birds- 5 acres