Friday, March 13, 2009

Books on Economics for Elementary School

This post relates to the following Keystone Economic Principles:

6. Do what you do best, and trade for the rest.
8. Quantity and quality of available resources impact living standards.

When school resumes next week, the Powell Center will begin one of its traditional activities at Collegiate School. Every spring, the Powell staff goes to the elementary school and does a "story time" session with the students to help them see economics through literature. One of the books we'll be using this year is Sweet Potato Pie by Kathleen D. Lindsey.

If you're unfamiliar with the book, it's about a family that faces a financial crisis. Their solution is to bake and sell sweet potato pies. I don't want to go into more detail than that, and I'm certainly not doing the book justice as a result. But the book provides a great way to examine how people (in this case a family) respond to incentives (in this case a negative incentive). But it is even better at providing a platform to discuss the production process and the factors of production: human resources, capital resources, natural resources and entrepreneurship.

We will be posting a formal lesson plan, with an accompanying presentation for classroom use sometime next week. I will post again when it is ready. But in the interim, check out the book and give it some thought. I think you'll find it a worthwhile resource for teaching some economics in the lower grades.

I look forward to your comments and suggestions.

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