Today we held a market day in which students buy and sell goods/services that they have created. Students earned cash throughout the week and used that currency for their business. Students had to create a business plan and advertisement along with their products. They did market research by surveying friends on what items they would buy which guided their products.
My students came in with quite a few creative products- scarves, purses, art, cleaning services, salon services, gak--- as well as a market overload of rainbow loom variations. Some even dressed the part--- in suits, aprons, and dresses.
|Yes--- in a suit and HE SEWED EVERYTHING!!!!|
To avoid as much chaos as I could students first window shopped and looked at what classmates were selling. The desks were situated in a round circle and I called tables to shop in rounds until there was nothing left to buy.
It was amazing to see how students responded to the shopping. Some after the window shopping realized that they had a unique product and were able to raise their price substantially. It was comedic during the sale that the vast vendors of rainbow loom had to change strategy and engaged in some marketing competition.
Throughout their shopping students kept track of how much they started with and subtracted purchases and added profit. They totaled up the final about at the end of the sale.
After there was not an item to be had we gathered at the carpet and students reflected on their experience. It was amazing to hear how they processed their frustration and realized they had to change something. Up until this point, I had not introduced any economic terms except goods and service. It was after they experienced the highs and the lows of the business world, they shared their experience, that we were able to talk about the economy since they had experienced it first hand and put a word label to it. Supply/demand, capital gain, profit, loss, break even, "in the red/black,"competition, market strategy,etc. were all terms that they were able to identify with an experience. I threw in a curve ball at the end and allowed them to add any profit they made into their class rewards checkbook--- for the kid that sold $143 there was much rejoicing.
At the end of the lesson I asked them what subjects we covered and why---
Math- counting money, adding/subtracting, re-grouping, market research data
Literacy- advertisement, business plan
Science/Social Studies- economy
They love it when they can identify all of the things we did outside of any sort of worksheet. I love that they remember what they are learning!!!
At the end of the lesson, they went back to their science/social studies notebooks and wrote about their experience and shared it with their table.
Days like today (and well most everyday) make this day job sweet-- and just a good time.