Saturday, May 26, 2012

Entre Entrepreneurship

I seem to be using my Promethean Board for anything but...
I'm relatively positive I only know how to spell that word because of the DECA classes I took in high school.  Anyhoo- in economics today we resorted our store/business/services cards into the handy categories that Karen at Flamingo Fabulous posted about.  We turned all specific store names, like Wal-mart and Game Stop into general categories so the kids could think outside of the box, as it were.  Then I had them write on an index card three choices.  They had to pick from three different categories, they could not write down the name of a store that already existed, and they had to keep in mind that we weren't going to have "doubles", so they would want to avoid writing down exactly what their best friend might have chosen.  They were actually pretty good about the process.

We circled the choice we decided on.
They turned their cards in, and later I met with the three district reps and the mayor to make some town planning decisions.  First off, I let the Mayor pick her top choice.  She went with Toy Store.  That nipped out two other citizens top choices.  Then as a team we looked at the cards and tapped into the ones that had unique first choices.  We went ahead and decided to incorporate them into the town, as they all seemed like decent ideas.  Then we had to start making decisions about multiple entries.  About four or five citizens chose fast food restaurant.  We decided to start off the town with only one, and therefore analyzed their other choices to see what fit better.  One gentleman ended up with his third choice, only because he was the only person to mention fire department as an interest and we figured that would be something our town should have. With another citizen who had two unique choices to choose from - a sea life park and an animal shelter- they came to a very mature decision that even though the park would be fun, the animal shelter would provide a more valuable service.  I was impressed with the last decision that came about, as it was one of the district reps versus a standard citizen.  They had both chosen nail salon.  However, Citizen A's other two choices were already represented in the town, and the district rep had also selected church as a choice.  She said very plainly, "well, I really wanted a nail salon, but I suppose church is more important." So she gave up the nail salon to citizen A. Pretty cool, methinks.

Choices separated by District
I did tell them that if they finished one shop, they could always make another one.  And if they made a double on the second go around, that was okay.  We don't need to promote product monopolies, you know?  I did notice though they were pretty thoughtful about what the town needed- and even with twenty kids making choices, our town has plenty of gaps. It will be interesting to see if they chose to fill in those needs first, or go for a great row of fast food stores down the middle of town.

Sampling of choices separated by category
All in all, I am really enjoying this unit.  I already started making the store foldables, and will show off a sample of that tomorrow.  I figure I can fill in a couple of the gaps on my own with samples.  I may even enlist my daughter, who is experiencing an entirely different method of education at her school.  She learned about economics through worksheets- so I am a little curious as to how she would apply that knowledge to this project. Ooooo, I feel like a mad scientist.  I am already thinking about how to start the year with this unit and meld in all my other curriculum.  But I'll post on that more this weekend.

Amazing that she picked Bungee Jumping!
Put our Goods and Services foldables on the back bulletin board

Three days off! It's going to be FABULOUS.


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