Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Book for Economics in the Early Elementary Grades

I usually don't have much here that can be directed specifically to elementary grades. I'm going to try to do more, but I can't promise when or how much.

But here's a book that early elementary teachers can use to cover a variety of economic and financial literacy concepts. Itsy Bitsy the Smart Spider is a takeoff on the old children's song about a spider, a rainspout and inclement weather. However, in this version, Itsy Bitsy doesn't just start again after an unsuccessful foray up the spout; she decides to solve the problem.

We follow the spider to a store where she tries to purchase something to keep dry. Upon finding the local currency does not include dead flies; she offers to work for the storekeeper. She saves her earnings and buys the necessary tool to allow her to stay dry when it rains.

The story includes opportunities to discuss employment and wages, saving, and specialization. (She has special talents to trade for a wage. She doesn't just expect a job because she asks.) One can also discuss money if one wants to go that deep. (Why aren't dead flies considered a viable currency?)

For those of you trying to introduce some basic economic or financial concepts, this is a good book to use. It generates a lot of discussion among the very young about jobs, about saving, and even offers opportunities to discuss why and how education helps us get the job we want.

I hope to hear from some of you who are familiar with the book and perhaps have even used it in class.

No comments: