Wants and needs

Wants and needs

I can explain the difference between family wants and needs.

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Wants and needs

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Students learn that a want is something you would like to have, while a need is something necessary to live. They will be able to make choices and categorize wants and needs throughout this lesson.

Learning objective

Students will be able to distinguish between wants and needs.

Ask students if they know what a want or a need is. Show examples of a few wants and needs.


Place a star on the pictures that show needs and hearts on the pictures that show wants. Restate that wants are things that you would like to have but do not need to have to survive. Explain that sometimes people talk about things that they want as though they need them, even when they don't really need them to survive. Then talk about needs. These are the things that, without them, you would not be able to stay alive. Tell the students that they're going shopping and can only place the needs into their shopping basket. Which items can they take? Then have students determine if the sentence given shows a want or a need. Review some examples of both wants and needs. Explain to students that wants are like wishes, and have students take turns in pairs to write something that they would want on the line. Then have other students come up to write down needs they have on the line.


Students are given a set of true or false questions to check their understanding of key concepts given during the lesson. Then they are given multiple-choice questions in which they must identify which of the options are wants and which are needs.


Discuss with students that they are now able to determine between wants and needs. Explain that it is important to be able to determine the difference so that you can prioritize your needs first. To close the lesson, spin the wheel! Have students say something they need or something they want as a result of the spin.

Teaching tips

You can discuss with your class that there are some things that are kind of in the middle, like a connection to the internet. You don't die (like you would if you had no food or water), but in our society, today, being without internet is very difficult!

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