Grade 3-5, 6-8

Willy Wonka Allocates Golden Tickets

Time: 45 mins,
Updated: June 11 2024,
Author: Lynne Stover


Students will be able to: 

  • Identify methods of resource allocation. 
  • Apply allocation methods to a fictional scenario. 
  • Determine how personal characteristics and physical attributes affect the allocation of resources.


Willy Wonka, the world-famous chocolatier, is opening his mysterious candy factory for the first time in many years and devises the perfect promotional plan.  He announces that “I, Willy Wonka, have decided to allow five children – just five, mind you, and no more – to visit my factory this year.” These lucky children will be the finders of one of five Golden Tickets, found inside the wrapper of a normal-looking candy bar. This is a worldwide contest.  The winners get a special tour of the candy factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.   

In this lesson,  students review scarcity and ways to allocate scarce resources (like golden tickets).  If Charlie hadn’t been the only ticket holder to make it to the end of the tour,  Willy Wonka would need to select (or alloacte) a winner.  Students take the perspective of the five children and determine which allocation method each child would prefer so that they would be the one who is picked to run the chocolate factory at the end of the story.