Looking for a fun end-of-unit project for your Economics unit? Look no further! My third graders loved designing their own food truck and menu, creating a business plan, and then shopping at each other's trucks during our Food Truck Festival. We did this project as a project-based assessment. It was much more fun than a traditional test!
This project includes three stages and lots of options to customize it for your classroom.
Step 1: Create a Business Plan
Students will decide which type of food truck they want (pizza, burgers, taco, etc.) and what items they will sell. They don't have to plan a detailed menu yet, just the a general plan like "donuts and hot chocolate". Next students will list the natural resources, capital resources, and human resources they will need in order to run their food truck.
Step 2: Design your Food Truck and Menu
Now it's time for students to personalize their food trucks and make final decisions on their menu. My kids LOVED coloring their food trucks and many added a person inside of the truck. I love seeing what they come up with! For the menu, I encouraged students to only choose about 4-7 menu items. They had to also determine prices for each item; I told them no single item should cost more than $10.00.
My resource includes a one-page option where the truck and menu are on the same page. It also includes templates to cut and glue onto a poster, like the examples below. Note: This was my original template and it has since been tweaked a bit (i.e. improved!) so it will look a little different than these images.
Step 3: Host a Food Truck Festival
Once the projects are complete, post them in your classroom or hallway. We added streamers to make it look extra exciting! I also had some early finishers create a sign that said "Food Truck Festival".
The festival is a great opportunity for students to practice making economic choices. Using a recording sheet, they will browse the market and then decide which trucks they want to purchase food from. They will "shop" from these trucks, writing down their top two choices and then narrowing it down to one choice (to practice the term opportunity cost). You can increase the complexity by giving students a budget, too!
How long does the project take?
Our Social Studies block is 45 minutes long. It took us about four class periods to complete the project. You could start the project on Monday and have the Festival on Friday. Check out the sample schedule below:
Day 1: Introduce the project and review types of resources (natural, capital, and human). Let students choose their food trucks and begin working on their business plans.
Day 2-4: Students finish their business plan, decorate their food truck, and design a menu.
Day 5: Host the Food Truck Festival
What food truck templates are included?
Donut and Coffee Truck
Burgers & Fries Truck
Ice Cream Truck
Would you consider hosting a food truck festival? What other activities do you do during your economics unit? I'd love to hear!