Thursday, May 3, 2012

Elementary Economics

One of the unpredictable things about children is what will catch their interest and when. Sometimes it is the least expected topic which is most interesting to them. Then what is even more amazing is when both of them agree on one single topic. My most resent experience in this regard was when both my 8 and 11 year olds decided they wanted to learn about economics.

Since they were both extremely interested I didn't want to pass up the opportunity, but I was left scratching my head about how and what to share with them. I figured this would be in addition to my current plans and  we wouldn't spend more than a couple weeks on it. So my first stop was the library website. I was able to find a couple books that looked to be on their level so maybe I would be able to pull something together. I also did some research online, but didn't find a whole lot to start with.

After studying the books from the library, I decided I would be able to use two of them. I also found one of my resource books had several hands on ideas for teaching economic principles. After further thought I decided to have them put together a lapbook to record what they learned. I started looking for lapbook sets, but couldn't find one on their level which addressed economics, not money. I purchased one, but it turned out to be too in depth. So now, I was making my own lapbook. This was getting to be a bigger project all the time. Some of the templates were fro sets I purchased, but I also made my own.

In the end the economics study consisted of activities learning about scarcity and value, wants and needs, and making value assessments. The lapbook contains mini books examining:

  • What an Economic System is and the major types
  • Wants and Needs
  • What makes up the Economy
  • The Government's Role in the Economy
  • Goods and Services
  • What Economics is
  • Scarcity
  • Taxes
  • The Stock Market
  • Which Government Agencies Influence the Economy

 This is what the finished lapbook looks like. We have to glue the two books together yet, but it was easier to take pictures first.

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