First grade students from Mrs. Byrd’s class made stuffed teddy bears, friendship bracelets and tic-tac-toe games to sell at Market Day - the culmination of their economics unit.
By Celeste McNeil; courtesy photos
Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) first grade students culminated their economics unit with a profitable Market Day. Serving as the fall semester showcase, Market Day gave 6- and 7-year-old students a chance to shine and give back to the community as well. The showcase is an opportunity to invite families into the school to watch demonstrations, performances and learn about what’s happening in the classroom. In addition to learning about goods, services, marketing, money exchange, production and teamwork, the proceeds from goods sold on Market Day were donated to a local charity.
Beginning with a field trip to a local farmers market, students had the opportunity to visualize and experience a market in the real world before creating their own. Discussions about what products interested them and why helped guide students’ understanding about the importance of creating a product that others would be interested in buying. First graders then collectively brainstormed product ideas which could be easily made and sold.
After dividing into groups, students listed and gathered all needed materials and made ten identical products to sell. Discussions about marketing and price followed, including creating booth signs to display the company name and product pricing.
Creating sellable products like bookmarks, keychains, travel tic-tac-toe games and homemade dog treats was a favorite aspect of the economics unit for the students. They “absolutely love making the products!” stated first grade teacher KerriLynn Andrew. Students also really enjoyed learning about and practicing money exchange. Rehearsing with their fourth grade reading buddies, first grade students practiced buying and making change.
When Market Day finally arrived, booths were stocked, signs were hung, and first grade students were open for business. Fourth grade reading buddies stood by facilitating change-making as needed. Parents, grandparents and other family members shopped the handmade goods produced by their students. Everything was priced between $2 and $5.
Collectively, the three classrooms raised more than $700 at this year’s Market Day. All money was donated to Denver Children’s Home, whose mission is to provide a comprehensive array of educational, therapeutic and community-based services to restore hope and health to traumatized children and families.
BRE first grade students gained insight into economics, but additionally directly helped other children in need here in the metro area. A BRE first grade teacher summed it up, “How wonderful that our learning turned into a giving experience for those in need.”