Friday, March 12, 2010

Third Grade Economics

Last week Cowgirl's school had a Market Day for all of the third grade as part of a unit on economics. In order to get a grade for completing this unit each student was to create 30 or so of some inexpensive, homemade product and bring it to school to sell from their own store. Prior to the big day the students had varying opportunities to earn Market Day money for spending as well.

Cowgirl and I went online and looked up a whole plethora of kid-friendly, inexpensive crafts that she could make. She finally decided on paper purses and felt pencil toppers since we already had most of the supplies on hand.

We found a template online to make the purses, printed them off and cut them out.

She wrote up a huge list of all of the pencil toppers that she wanted to create... and then Coolister broke his leg. So I ended up making all of the pencil toppers while sitting in his hospital room. (Cowgirl was cool with that.) It turned out to be a lot of fun to come up with patterns and ideas.

(Answer me this: Besides just looking cutesy, what is the purpose of a pencil topper?)

The morning of Market Day, Cowgirl and I glued the purses together, added a button and tucked a little candy ring and lipstick inside.

We realized that she only had 20 items to sell as she left for school, so I used some of the leftover felt to whip up a few pencil cases as well.

There was a happy buzz of chaotic excitement as I arrived at the school. A whole sea of third graders were happily visiting each others' classrooms to purchase some Market Day treasures and also peddling their wares at their desks.

When it was all over Cowgirl was excited to show her brothers and sisters what she had purchased. "How much money did you make?" All-a-Boy asked her.

"Don't know," she responded, "but it doesn't matter. We could only spend the money we earned before Market Day. Everything we earned today just went into a bag that we gave to the teacher. But, hey! Look at all the stuff I bought!"

Economics is so much more simple in the third grade.


Shannon said...

If only the simplicity of those
3rd grade economics translated to adult life! Gorgeous products - great job!

Kara said...

Those purses turned out cuter than I imagined them. I love the buttons on the felt pencil olders. I am always in the look out for cute buttons. If I may ask, Where did you get them?

Teachinfourth said...

Gerb, you are even more talented than I thought!

The pencil topper? I look at it akin to makeup...if your pencil eraser isn't brand-new or is worn completely down, a topper makes it look 'new' again. Isn't it simply makeup for writing utensils?

So say we all.

BTW, I don't remember getting a Superman one at Market Day. Will All-A-Boy have those as well in two or three weeks for ours?

Gerb said...

Shannon- No kidding. Ah, to be a third grader again!

Kara- I am also a button-lover. Those are just some I have collected over the years & had in my stash. My favorite place to find them, though, is on old, ugly clothing at secondhand stores. It amazes me how beautiful buttons used to be before the plastic button became standard!

T5th- I am a master at applying makeup to writing utensils, then. I asked All-a-Boy about market day and he said, "You want ME to sell pencil toppers?" as if they were some sort of disease.

cari said...

Super cute!

Richard & Natalie said...

Could those get any cuter? Wow. I bet she blew the competition away. I know it certainly beats the tongue depresser book marks Ashton made...

Rachel said...

Would you believe.....I forgot my camera that day?!! I couldn't believe it! So, I didn't get Kirsten selling her wares but after seeing your photos I know one of the sellers she bought from! :) Way cute stuff!

I ended up sitting at Kirsten's desk selling stuff for her while she went around buying stuff occasionally coming back for more money as I would sell her stuff.

Lifes economic lessons: Someone else makes the dough....she spends it!

Yeah. I think she learned the lesson quite well. :D

Rebecca said...

The pencil toppers' only purpose is to be cute. Purpose fulfilled. Your target shoppers, in this case, are those who like cute stuff, not practical stuff. (In third grade, that's a very large audience.)
Plus I love the display crate.
Well done!

Ali said...

Great idea and job on the little purses and pencil toppers.

Glad she had a great day at school.

Anaise said...

Those are sooo cute!

And I can just barely handle 3rd grade economics . . . I can't get my brain around how the grown-up version works.

What a fun project.

Gerb said...

Cari- Thanks!

Natalie- I was actually quite impressed with everything I saw for sale. I wished I had a bit of Market Day money in fact...

Rachel- Yup, same here. Pretty much just sat at Cowgirl's desk while she spent her dough. I even ended up selling her neighbor's stuff, too!

Bec- Exactly. And I was especially amazed by how many boys bought pencil toppers (the girly looking ones) for their moms! The funny thing was that they felt I needed to know why they were buying them and would tell me. Like, 'Hey, just so you know, this cute cupcake thingy I'm buying is NOT for me. It's for my mom."

Ali- Thanks. It was a great day, as is any day I get to hang out at school with my kids.

Anaise- I know what you mean! And thank you.

Lori said...

Those items are so cute. I would totally buy them...useless pencil toppers especially. The wouldn't those be great as goody bags at a kid's bday party? Where's the link? ;)

Chelle! said...

Oh my goodness!! I have to make those purses. You are so creative!!! Maybe you should make cards again?! Hint Hint