Social Studies 10

All Because of This One Box of Chocolate…

<<1. Summary of the activity performed in class.>>

Thirteen students and only one box of chocolate. For the past few classes, we discussed how on earth we were going to decide who would be the lucky person to receive the delicious prize.

As a class, we all brainstormed many ideas as possible in what we can do in order to leave the box of chocolate to one person. Some of those ideas were; jenga, uno, the shortest in the grade, jyanken, football, video games, and etc. We were able to narrow down our long list by going through a decision-making  process called PACED.  It stands for problem, alternatives, criteria, evaluate and decision.

The first stage of PACED is the ‘p’ for problem. Our problem and issue we had was “How do we allocate the scarce resource to one person?” The scarce resource was the box of chocolate, which was desired by everyone in the class but there was a limited supply of one box. So, our problem was how we were going to distribute this scarce resource to only one person.

We then chose our alternatives by first spliting into small groups of four and chosing our best 5 out of the long list we brainstormed. The alternatives were actions we are able to perform to be able to solve our problem. After every group announced their opinions, each person chose their top 2 and the list was successfully able to narrow down to only five activities. The top five choices we came up with were video games, jyanken, hide and seek, bingo and jenga.

Then we made a criteria for our activities by thinking what was important to look for when deciding on the alternative. Our first criterion we thought of was how the alternative must be able to let only one person win the chocolate. The second criterion was for it to be fun. Thirdly, we came up with how the game should be fair and how everyone should have an equal chance of winning. The last criterion was that the alternative should be feasible (can actually be done in an hour). So at the end we all agreed upon how the alternative must follow our criteria of ending up with one person winning, be fair, fun, and feasible.

After shortening our list and making our criteria, we moved onto the ‘e’ and ‘d’ step of PACED. Using the candy bar grid, we evaluated each alternative to the criterion. They were rated with either a plus or a minus depending on if they met the criterion. The criterions were listed at the top of the grid and the five alternatives were on the side. This process of evaluation and analyzing is also called economic reasioning. We then were able to make our final decision after everyone announced their top ranked alternative on their candy bar grid. After this long process of PACED, we all decided to do the “Hide & Seek” because it met the criteria well the most.

<<2. Link the economic concepts to the class.

As we brainstormed the activities in the beginning of class, we were listing down some choices that were available for us in order to solve our problem. In order to narrow down these choices we used a method of decision making called PACED (Problem Alternative Criteria Evaluate Decision). The issue we faced was that there was only one box of chocolate that everyone in the class wanted and we did not know how to allocate (distribute) the resource. In this case, the one box of chocolate is the scarce resource because it is limited and is very desirable by the students. To allocate this resource, we had to find the right choice that everyone would agreed on and this is where economic reasoning comes up. When we used the candy bar grid, we evaluated using plus (benefits) and minus (costs) to rate each alternative according to the criteria. As we were doing this, we analyzed the costs and benefits to make the choice that suits best for our problem. Overall, we experienced a situation of solving a problem making an economic decision.


  • PACED: stands for problem, alternatives, criteria, evaluate and decision; used to make decisions.
  • Economic reasoning: an analysis of costs and benefits to make racional choices
  • Choice: options that you have available; in economic thinking theres ALWAYS a choice
  • Allocate: distribute
  • Scarce: limited and desirable; can be world issues, daily basis, or human beings
<<4. Find a real world example of PACED.>>
Similar decisions are being made in the real world everyday without many people knowing it. I was surprised when I found out that even my favorite sport, basketball, can be related to economics. This article I found, The Short Supply of Tall People: Competitive Imbalance and the National Basketball Association, was able to show an example of PACED in the real world. The problem for the NBA is the scarce resource of tall basketball players and the increase in competitive imbalance. Tall basketball players are scarce because it is hard to find tall people in a general population and more people in the U.S. are increasing in size rather than height. Their alternatives are choosing between tall and short basketball players.They choose players according to their age, points they can score, experience, height and talent which can be identified as criteria the NBA uses to evaluate players. These choices are the criteria the NBA uses in order to choose with basketball player would be worthy for the team. They use economic reasoning as they create the teams and also try to reduce the competitive imbalance. I am pleased to find that I can research about basketball while I learn more about economics and economic decision making. The article I found on basketball called The Short Supply of Tall People: Competitive Imbalance and the National Basketball Association can be found here.
I commented on Kari’s blog.

2 thoughts on “All Because of This One Box of Chocolate…

  1. Hello this is Jesse and I wanted to comment on how I thought how bolding and italicizing the important words and letters in your blog was very intelligent. I wish I thought of that for my blog!
    The only problem in your blog I found was a few grammar problem which was spelling, but other than that I thought it was great!

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