Government intervention in the economy

SubjectNSW Commerce YearStage 5 Curriculum Time70

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In this activity, students learn why and how governments intervene in the economy. They consolidate their understanding by researching and developing questions for a board game. Students then play the game.

Australian Curriculum or Syllabus

This activity contributes to the following outcomes.

A student:

  • applies consumer, financial, economic, business, legal, political and employment concepts and terminology in a variety of contexts COM5-1
  • researches and assesses information using a variety of sources COM5-7
  • explains information using a variety of forms COM5-8
  • works independently and collaboratively to meet individual and collective goals within specified timeframes COM5-9.

Related Stage 4 outcomes: COM4-1, COM4-7, COM4-8, COM4-9

Content descriptions

Core 2: The economic and business environment

The nature of the economy


  • explain the interdependence between different sectors of the economy, for example the role of the government in protecting consumers.

The nature of markets within the economy


  • examine the reasons for government intervention in the market, for example energy pricing, prevention of environmental degradation, conservation of natural resources.

Core 3: Employment and Work Futures

Work and wellbeing

  • the redistribution of income through taxation, and government expenditure, e.g. in education, health, infrastructure and social welfare (ACHEK052).

Teacher resources

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Government intervention in the economy

To print

Snakes and ladders - Game board

Student learning resources

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Recording sheet

Government intervention in the economy


Snakes and ladders


Snakes and ladders - Questions

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 the visualiser to explain how the government intervenes in the economy (slides 2 and 3). As you are explaining the information, invite students to provide further examples.
  2. Use a grouping strategy to organise students into groups of 4.
  3. Groups brainstorm examples of the following categories of goods/services and benefits and record their answers on the recording sheet.
    • Good or service provided by governments.
    • Good or service with social benefits that are provided by private enterprise.
    • Good or service with social costs.
    • Cash benefit provided by the Australian Government to individuals and families.
  4. Invite groups to share the results of their brainstorm with the class. As groups listen to the responses of other groups, they add examples to their recording sheet.
  5. Read the student instructions as a class.
  6. Students research and develop their questions and record their questions and answers on the questions template.
  7. Give each group:
  8. Students play snakes and ladders.
  9. When students have finished playing the game, discuss the role of Australia’s taxation system as a mechanism for intervening in the economy. Display and discuss the final slide on the visualiser following the discussion