Lesson 2: Barter in action



  • Single class period


Activity 1: Barter in action


Would barter encourage people to get along or not? Would people feel that they were treated fairly or not? In this lesson, students get a chance to answer these questions by participating in and evaluating a bartering experience.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Activity 1: Barter in action

  1. Explain to the students that they are going to participate in an activity where they will put bartering into practice.
  2. Display the Barter cards sheet
  3. Invite students to identify whether the items listed are a good or a service.
  4. Ask students to name additional goods or services which young people might successfully trade in a barter situation.
  5. Distribute one card from Barter cards to each student.
  6. Explain that they must barter the good or service on their Barter card in exchange for the good or service on another person’s card. The deal or barter will be considered complete when one card is exchanged for another, for example, the ‘Hoodie’ Barter card is exchanged for the Barter card saying ‘Cut the grass’ (an exchange of a good for a service).
  7. Encourage students to think about their good/service and find out what goods/service others have. What would they be happy to exchange their good/service for? What would be a fair deal? Invite them to move around the room and talk to a number of different people before making an exchange.
  8. Bring the students back together for a whole class discussion using the following prompts:
    • Did anyone in the class fail to make a trade? Why?
    • Did anyone in the class barter with more than one other person? Please give details.
    • Is there anyone who is completely happy with their barter? Why?
    • Is there anyone who is very unhappy with the deal they made? Why
    • Was it easy to figure out if you were getting a fair deal?
  9. Ask the class to list the factors they think influenced whether or not they were satisfied with their deal. Note their responses on the white/blackboard.

Homework Task

Ask students to write a short reflective piece about what it would be like to live in a world without money and to have to barter for goods and services. Their assignment should include reference to if/how they think their new knowledge impacts on their lives.

Depending on your class you may decide to take-up and correct these reflections once completed.


Lesson 2 Activity 1 Student Worksheet:Barter cards

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