Name Your Price:

Socialism, Capitalism, and Communism

By: Renee Allen

Renee Allen

Education Collaborator

Renee Allen is a multi-hyphenate Jamaican-born, Toronto-based, writer-educator, with a passion for working with children and youth. She is deeply committed to work that interrogates and addresses interlocking systems of oppression. Her writing appears in Zora, THIS magazine and PREE. Renee is also a recent graduate of the Masters of Teaching program at the University of Toronto, with a book collection that keeps outgrowing her bookcase.

(Lesson Plan) Name Your Price: Socialism, Capitalism, and CommunismDownload

Subject Area: Interdisciplinary 

Grade Level: 7–12 

Suggested Time: 120 minutes 

Overarching Critical Inquiry Question

What are the effects of the commodification (attaching a price) of labour under socialism, capitalism, and communism? 

Overarching Critical Task

Using the game show The Price Is Right as a starting point, students will explore the value of labour under socialism, capitalism, and communism. They’ll also determine how its value changes at the intersection of race, class, and sexual orientation. 

Lesson Critical Inquiry Question

How does the value of labour vary under socialism, capitalism, and communism, when considering the work of different labourers under these systems? 

Two-Eyed Seeing Connection/Inquiry Question

How can we reimagine current systems to centre Indigenous perspectives on labour? What are the impacts of socialism, communism, and capitalism on Indigenous labour (e.g., Hudson’s Bay Company/fur trading)? 

Lesson Critical Inquiry Task 

Students will explore the concepts of socialism, capitalism, and communism. Following the format of The Price Is Right, students will determine how different workers’ contributions are valued under each economic system.

Central Ideas/Learning Goals

Related Concepts

  • Historical context 
  • Intersectionality 
  • Systems 
  • Power 

Key Competencies 

  • Teamwork 
  • Collaboration 
  • Effective communication 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Creativity 

Lesson Overview

Building on their foundational understanding of the Nine Hour Movement, students will determine the economic system (communism, capitalism, or socialism) that created the working conditions for the movement (e.g., unfair compensation of labour). Based on this entry point, students will create working definitions of communism, capitalism, and socialism. Next, they’ll create a list of workers, from various labour movements (e.g., CUPE education workers, Starbucks workers, Amazon workers, LGBTQ2S+ public servants in the Cold War era, West Indian domestic workers, etc). Following the format of The Price Is Right game show, students will determine what the value of each worker’s labour would be under the respective economic systems. Lastly, students will compare and contrast how the intersections of class, race, and sexual orientation affect how labour is valued. 

Materials and Preparation Required

Launching the Learning 

Students will identify which economic system (communism, capitalism, or socialism) created the working conditions of the Nine Hour Movement. Based on their understanding, they will create working definitions for each of the economic systems.

Next, they will create a list of workers. For example, early childhood educators, Starbucks baristas, Amazon delivery drivers, postal workers, etc.

Building Important Background Knowledge

Set the Task 

Students will collaborate to determine how they’d like to structure Name Your Price. Students can choose roles, similar to the format for The Price Is Right. Possible roles include: 

Game-show format: 

After the Show – Potential Lesson Closures

(Lesson Plan) Name Your Price: Socialism, Capitalism, and CommunismDownload