Monday, February 2, 2009

Books for Economics in the Elementary Grades: Have Wheels Will Travel

This post refers to material that relate to the following Keystone Economic Principles:

1. We all make choices.
2. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

3. All choices have consequences.
5. Incentives produce “predictable” responses.

Another one of the books I've been examining for the Lower School here at Collegiate is Have Wheels Will Travel. The book is part of a series called "The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes." And while I have no idea what the other books in the series are like, this one is a gem if you want to integrate financial and economic literacy into the fourth or fifth grade classroom.

The basic story has Abby desperately seeking funds to purchase a new set of roller blades. She is the second youngest child, but the youngest daughter. As such, she endures her older sisters' hand-me-downs. But the blades she's received don't fit well, and they don't have purple wheels.

Throughout the book, Abby keeps a running tally on her available funds, what she needs to purchase the new roller blades, and a detailed description of each job she undertakes and each decision she makes with her earned funds. She learns the value of work and of her savings, but more importantly, she learns that her choices have consequences - some more "expensive" than others.

Regardless, the new roller blades motivate her to press on to the inevitable and happy conclusion. Despite being predictable, the story is engaging.

If you've used this book, I'd be interested in your comments.

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