Community resources game

SubjectEconomics & Business YearYear 8 CurriculumAC v9.0 Time50

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In this activity, students play a game that simulates how taxation contributes to the common good and demonstrates why the taxation system is not based on what people ‘want’ to pay to contribute to the common good, but what they can afford to pay.  

Australian Curriculum or Syllabus

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 8, students explain how markets influence the allocation of resources to the production of goods and services. They explain ways that businesses adapt to opportunities in markets and respond to the work environment. They describe the importance of Australia’s taxation system and its effect on decision-making by individuals and businesses. Students explain why individuals and/or businesses budget and plan.

Students develop a range of questions to investigate an economic and business issue. They locate, select and organise relevant information and data. They interpret information and data to identify economic and business issues and trends, and describe economic cause-and-effect relationships. They develop a response to an economic and business issue. They identify and evaluate potential costs and benefits. Students use economic and business knowledge, concepts, terms and research findings to create descriptions and explanations.

Content descriptions

Economics and Business Knowledge and Understanding

The importance of Australia’s system of taxation and how this system affects decision-making by individuals and businesses. (AC9HE8K04)

Economics and Business Skills

Interpret information and data to identify economic and business issues, trends and economic cause-and-effect relationships. (AC9HE8S03)

Teacher resources

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Community resources game

To print

Community resources game playing cards

Student learning resources

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Recording sheet

Community resources game

Suggested activity sequence

This sequence is intended as a framework to be modified and adapted by teachers to suit the needs of a class group.

  1. Use a grouping strategy to organise students into groups of 4.
  2. Give each group a set playing cards (ensure each group member has a different coloured set of cards).
  3. Groups will need access to a recording sheet.
  4. Use the game instructions to explain how the game is played.
  5. Follow the game instructions to facilitate the game.
    Note: It is important that at the end of each round, each group shares their results with the class and time is given to comparing results and groups contributing ideas on their observations.
  6. When students have finished playing the game, debrief. Possible discussion questions include:
    • What happened throughout the game? Did people contribute more or less to the community pot as the game progressed? Why do you think this was the case?
    • Is there conflict between looking out for oneself and acting in the community's interest?
    • How does the game relate to taxes? What happens if nobody contributes to the public good?
    • At what point in the game did you realise some players were doing better than others in terms of their bank balances? How did you feel about this? (if appropriate, introduce the concept of free riders.)
    • Why do you think the government has a tax system that decides how much individuals and businesses will contribute to resources enjoyed by the community?
    • How do the taxes we pay today benefit us in the future? Give examples.