Monday, February 20, 2012


 For some reason I love teaching economics.  I think it's the way it lends itself so easily to engaging activities and teachable moments.  We always start with basic needs and wants and goods and services and then begin with productive resources.  Although the terminology is hard, they always seem to catch on. We start by watching Charlie Needs a Cloak on YouTube.  This is a great visual and is very elementary so we can break it down into human, natural, and capital resources.  It's a great class discussion, although the tune does get a bit old by the end! :)

Afterward, I open up Riley's Pizza Shop!  They each get to make their own pizza (out of construction paper).  I don't tell them why in advance because I want them to figure out later that they need a good product in order to trade and barter.  
My mom had bought these Steak n' Shake looking hats a long time ago thinking I could use them for something.  They've been stashed away waiting for a good use (and because I felt bad throwing them away since my mom got them for me!)...but now they are chef's hats!  The kids LOVED it...until they saw the 3rd graders when using the restroom and they quickly took them off.  Haha!

The student on the right decided to go with a chocolate chip pizza, but then realized after trading that nobody really wanted it.  He said next time he'd make a product that he knew others would want.  A-ha moments! Yes!

After they had finished making their pizzas, they got to trade with other students for a different kind or type if they wanted.  In the background, there are a couple of students who didn't want to trade which I said was fine.  (I knew it would help make my point later that adding money to the equation makes it all easier!)  I love when they play into my schemes...I mean lessons!

And here is where it all broke loose.  After a round of trading without money, I gave each of them $3 to help them.  By the end some kids had four pizzas and no money or had no pizzas and more than $10!  It was a great discussion about product quality, how money makes trade easier, and then we had a side conversation about specialization.  It was a really fun morning!

What do you guys do to teach economics?  

Well I'm off to the dentist, then back for a run!  I can't believe it's going to be in the 40s today in Indiana!  This weather is crazy, but I'm not complaining!


Tammy said...

That's a great activity! I'm a big Dave Ramsey fan. Too bad I couldn't do a little Financial Peace University with my first graders. Man would that same them some heart ache as adults!

❀ Tammy
Forever in First


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I introduce a Economics student in Islamic University of Indonesia Yogyakarta

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