Monday, December 17, 2012

My Class Economy Part 4: What Does It Mean To Produce Something?

During the first semester, besides working and getting pay checks and paying rent, we also start looking at what it means to produce something.
We start on UN Day in October. One of the things we do is watch and discuss The Story of Stuff.

We talk about Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, and Extraction.
A few days later we take field trips that emphasize two different sections; Production and Extraction.

This field trip focuses on Production

We also start reading books about entrepreneurship. I've used Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies in the past (which I think is excellent), as well as Lawnboy by Gary Paulsen and Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill. The last two titles didn't really serve my purpose so well.

Great! Good Not So Much...

The best book I feel though that teaches not only the value of putting quality in production, and appeals to a greater good is Lunch Money by Andrew Clements.

Mr. Z's Toilet Theory is one of my favorites

We make the comic books just as the main character Greg outlines in the book, have several discussions on the arguments that the main protagonists, Maura and Greg have, and discuss Mr. Z's Toilet Theory with regards to wealth and big houses: Most people can only use one bathroom at a time

By the time we finish reading and writing about and discussing the book, many kids have already started researching on their own different ideas for making their own products.  The children are primed and ready to be fired, and itching to start their own business.

On a side note, I ask the kids to choose between two final projects.
The first is a Lunch Money Book Buzz: Create a dialogue between two people and talk about the book.

The second is a dialogue discussing the economic principals of the book:

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