Social Studies 10

Planning A Dance – The Black Death

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Economic Concepts>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Choices: options available
Consequences: the outcome/effects of an action
Costs: the total of financial cost + non-financial cost
Incentives: things that motivates people to do something (positive and negative)
Income: the money earned (especially for work/investments)
Opportunity cost: what you have to give up in order to get your own choice; second best choice; can only have one
Trade off: when you give up a little bit of something to get more of something else; get a little bit of each but not to the fullest extent

<<<<<<<<<<<<Summary of the Class Activities>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Planning The Dance

– We were split up into 3 small groups and were assigned to plan a dance. Our task was to decide how to spend our total of $9,630 on the music, location, and refreshments/decorations for this dance. My group (Emily, Kohei and Shi Jia) had a criteria and an opportunity cost for each expenditure category, when we made our decisions. These were the alternatives we were to choose from:

– The criteria we made for the music was: cheap, variety of music, and overall quality. The main alternatives in this category was between a live band and disc jockey. We chose the disc jockey over the live band because we believed it has a more variety of music. We came down to two options which were Pig Sty and Good Vibrations. But we found that good vibrations fit our criteria better than Pig Sty. In this decision making process, our choice was Good Vibrations and our opportunity cost was Pig Sty. To conclude, we gave up cheap but good music, for a more expensive but excellent music with variety.

– The Good Vibrations cost $2000 so we were down to $7,630. We looked for a big, romantic and accessible location for the dance. Rating our 5 alternatives with this criteria, we came down to the school gym and the Hilton hotel. But in the end we gave up the school gym (opportunity cost) for the Hilton Hotel (choice) because we beileved the hotel has a higher quality and is more romantic.

– Finally for the refreshments/decorations, we critiqued each item by quality, variety, quantity, and the price. After we chose our music and location, we had a total of $5,630 we can spend so we were not worried about the money too much. Although after reading each alternatives description, the Cater number 2 and Cater number 1 were most appealing to us. The only difference between these too choices were the quantity of food, price and the quality in the decorations. Because our group wanted to make this last dance memorable and we were aware most boys like to go because of the food, our final choice was Cater 2 and Cater 1 was our opportunity cost.

– The total cost for our dance we planned was $7000 and we had $2,630 left. As a group, we planned to use the remaining of the money for flower, glow sticks and donation to the Tohoku region of Japan. The trade off was: We gave up a little bit of money for music to get more money for a better location and refreshment/decorations.

–  Every group gave a short presentation, explaining why and how they chose each item from the topic. We also talked about our opportunity costs, trade off, and criteria used throughout the process of planning the dance. These were the final plans made by each group:


  • Good vibration
  • School gym
  • Package deal


  • Good vibration
  • ELAC
  • Catered #2

My Group:

  • Good vibration
  • Hilton hotel
  • Catered #2

– After our class took a vote for which plan for the dance they liked, my group had gotten the most votes.

The Black Death

How the Black Death Spread: Between the 1347~1350 about 33% of the European population died because of the massive out break of the Black Death. This caused many effects on the society. It all started in Mongolia where people started to die from this infectious disease. As the population was decreasing with this illness, the majority of the healthy people ran away from the country to not be effected by the disease. They got on boats but had to dock the boat because everyone on board were dying as well. The few people who survived the boat ride escaped into this new population, which infected many of those with the Black Death along with the rats. The rats carried out this disease into the population, causing many people to become victims of the Black Death. In Europe, where feudalism was taking place, the economy was going down because of many losses of peasants from the Black Death.

– We had to solve two cases in our activity, as landlords with 1,000 acres of farmland. In case 1, we had to decide how to distribute the 15 peasants/families, my own family, and area for food/wool production around the land. In total, a total of 550 acres was needed to feed my own family and the 15 peasant families, which left me with 450 acres. Additional production of food can be made with 30 acres of land (£2 income) and 150 acres for £5 income. To get the most income, I had to allocate the 15 families to food production (total of 450 acres of land + £30 income produced). Because all the land was used, there was no more space for any peasants from a neighboring estate to come to my estate.

– In Case 2, because of the Black Death there were only 10 peasant families. 400 acres of land is needed to feed my family and the 10 peasant families, which left me with 600 extra acres of land. I was able to allocate the peasant families so I can have the most income of £26. 8 families were put in food production (8 families x 30 acres = 240 acres) and 2 families for sheep grazing (2 families x 150 acres = 300 acres).  Even after the allocation of families to extra acres of land, there was a total of 60 acres of left. This enabled me to allow a family to move into my estate because with the 60 acres, there is enough space to live (30 acres) and for food production (30 acres), which will increase my income. Although because the family would work for my estate for a long time, the money I could pay them to come to my estate will come back to me after a few years.

<<<Connection Between the Activities to the Economic Concepts>>>

– In the process of planning a dance, we had come across opportunity costs when deciding between different alternatives. For example,  when we were determined to have our dance at the Hilton hotel the school gym was our opportunity cost because we gave that location up, in order to chose the hotel.

– Throughout the whole planning of the dance, we came across one trade off. The trade off was “we gave up a little bit of money for music to get more money for a better location and refreshment/decorations”.  To make this dance more memorable and romantic, we had to give up some money from one thing to have more of another.

– Our overall plan including a good choice of music, location, and refreshments/decorations everyone liked, allowed us to come across a positive incentive by everyone voting for my group.

– We experienced incomes in the Black Death activity. When we were allocating the peasant families in the land, we wanted to decide the best way in order to make the most income. Because of the Black Death disease, it caused many peasants to die resulting with a decrease in the income for the king. Throughout the activity, we chose how to distribute the families and production area by having how to get the most income.

– There were different consequences  between the activity to plan the dance and for the Black Death. For the dance, we were able to create the best planned dance because of the good decisions we made with the music, location, and decorations. In the Case 2 Black Death activity, the consequence for deciding on having 8 families produce extra food and 2 families make wool, it resulted me to have the largest income I could have.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<A Real World Example>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In the article I found about Nutrition and Fast Food Menu’s where the economic concepts  costs, incentives and consequences were apparent. In the United States, obesity has become a big problem and caused many Americans to obtain an unhealthy lifestyle. The cheap but very greasy fast food restaurants, like McDonald’s,  are getting a good income because it is enjoyed greatly by thousands of people everyday around the world!  These group of researchers tested about a few hundred children if the nutrition information on the fast food menus makes a difference. As the experiment was being tested, the kids were tested if the food with the lower calories would be their opportunity cost or their final choice. Many of the children had chosen a menu that looked more appetizing than a healthier food choice (opportunity cost). But not all the children ignored the nutrition information or the ‘heart symbols’ which is placed next to healthier meals. The heart symbols had put positive incentives by making some children to make healthier choices, choosing a less fattening meal. The researchers came to an agreement that the nutrition information/ heart symbols had a consequence of some children making healthier food choices but insist others to buy more quantities of the fast food because it is marked ‘healthy’. Overall, the nutrition information and other symbols that had marked ‘healthy’ on the fast food menus had brought a positive and negative consequence to the children, researchers, and the health and public policy agencies.

I commented on Christina‘s blog.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<APA Reference List>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


2 thoughts on “Planning A Dance – The Black Death

  1. Heyy~ Yuri Yuri~ 😛
    This is Christina! Thanks for commenting on my blog and I agree that my history section is MUCH longer than my summarizing-the-activity section. But I really like history so… 😀

    Ok to business:
    Your blog post is the BEST~!
    Very concise and straight to the point. Also you talked in detail about each step you took in the Black Death activity/worksheet – very good (because I didn’t do it in detail).
    But one thing that’s bothering me now is that the Black Death did not start “in Mongolia where people started to die”. The Mongolians were quite immune to the disease (as in, they got sick when they had the disease but they did not die). When the Mongol Army started to advance into other countries to invade them, they brought the disease with them. Triggering the almost world wide epidemic that reduced the European population 33%.
    Anyways, great job and thanks for commenting!!
    Your Twin,

  2. Pingback: Party With Death « my name is christina

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