Last week I posted my original wonder bubble unit for non-fiction research in the classroom. That was one of my favorite lessons to do towards the end of the year, but this one was also a favorite. Real life examples are important to use when educating students. Every day, students in your classroom visit businesses and stores around town. This unit will take them through an entrepreneurial journey of creating their own business, producing a product or offering a service, and marketing and selling to their peers. This unit encompasses a variety of basic life skills such as money management, business development, marketing campaigns, and friendly competition and correlates to the common core standards and state standards for grades 1-3 (see complete list of standards at the end of this post).
I’ve listed the entire unit plus free printables on my Teachers Pay Teachers store for only $5.00. This unit includes includes a complete scripted unit plan, free printables, unit timeline, common core standards to correlate to the unit, a complete book list, enrichment opportunities, and links to technology to use within the unit.
This unit covers roughly 4-6 weeks during your math and social studies time. The foundation of this unit is students’ mathematical understanding of counting money and making change. It is important that prior to this unit, you should do a thorough study of mental math computation, money values, and adding and subtracting money through $1.00. This is imperative so that students feel confident when they are “open for business”. Economic themed literature should also be available in your classroom library approximately two weeks prior to the start of the unit (book list is included in the lesson on TpT).
Because of the sheer volume of information in this unit, I don’t go into too much detail here. I’ve written down everything in my TpT unit so that I can go into full detail and explanation of each separate part.
Parts 1 and 2 – Introducing goods and services and supply and demand
Your students will be using new vocabulary throughout this unit. They should learn and use the correct economic terminology whenever applicable because this unit is meant to simulate real-life experiences. There is a vocabulary list included in the free printable pack on my TpT site.
Part 3 thru 6 – Creating, operating and marketing a student business
This portion of the econ unit is the meat of the unit. In my scripted unit on TpT, I walk you through how to introduce student businesses, assign student roles within the group, walk you through the steps of the marketing and advertisement piece, and prepare you to open your student market to the public.
Part 7 – The Grand Opening of your businesses
This part is when the students open their businesses for parents, siblings, peers, and faculty members to come shop. Students are marketing themselves and doing mental math as the customers shop their business and this is an integral part to tie all of the parts of the unit together. The schedule and preparation for this presentation day is laid out for you in the unit.
Part 8 – Conclusion and what they have learned
The wrap-up of this unit is just as important as the other parts because this is where students are able to have an open discussion to articulate how they saw consumers, producers, supply, demand, and goods and services in action. Some of the discussions I had with my first graders during this portion were the most memorable of the year. You’ll see a “click” as students finally understand how the business they created and operated is similar to businesses all around town. This is also a great place to discuss such real world concepts as bankruptcy.
Below you’ll see photos from the Grand Opening Day over the years that I did this product in my first grade classroom. Below the photos you’ll find a more detailed description of each image.
1. Parents shop one of our stores that sold “duct tape” products. They were a hit! 2. and 3. All set up and ready to sell! Note the student made logos and price lists. Also the refreshments that were offered to try to lure customers to their shop. 4. A nail salon was just one of the services that students provided over the years. 5. A group that made clay sculptures helps sell their products. And they also offered chocolate fudge for 25 cents to help entice customers to shop! 6. An origami group cleverly named “Artigami” replenishes their supply on their Grand Opening.
Remember to purchase the full unit and the free printables in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for only $5.00. And as always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. I’ll be headed to Making Things Happen in Chapel Hill over the next few days, but I’ve got some great posts lined up for when I return.
Tennessee State Social Studies Standard (K-3)
Economics – Content Standard: 2.0
Globalization of the economy, the explosion of population growth, technological changes and international competition compel students to understand, both personally and globally, the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Students will examine and analyze economic concepts such as basic needs versus wants, using versus/saving money, and policy making versus decision-making.
• 2.01 Describe potential costs and benefits of personal economic choices in a
• 2.02 Give examples of the interaction of businesses and governments in a market
• 2.03 Understand fundamental economic concepts.
Common Core Math Standards (Grade 2)
Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Add and Subtract within 20
- CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.B.2 Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
Number and Operations in Base 10: Understanding place value
- CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.A.1 Understand that the three digits of a three-digit number represent amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones; e.g., 706 equals 7 hundreds, 0 tens, and 6 ones.
Number and Operations in Base 10: Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract
- CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.B.5 Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
- CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.B.6 Add up to four two-digit numbers using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.
- CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.B.8 Mentally add 10 or 100 to a given number 100–900, and mentally subtract 10 or 100 from a given number 100–900.
Measurement and Data: Work with time and money.
- CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.C.8 Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately. Example: If you have 2 dimes and 3 pennies, how many cents do you have?