Why teach economics using children's literature? Primary-grade students can gain exposure to a wide range of economic concepts in state standards if teachers use reading strategies that embrace children’s literature with economic content. This approach allows teachers to teach their students reading strategies and economics simultaneously.
In this lesson, students listen to a story about Beatrice, a little girl from Uganda, who receives a goat and the impact of that goat on her family. They learn what it means to save and use estimation to decide whether or not people have enough money to reach a savings goal. They also work through a set of problems requiring that they identify how much additional money people must save to reach their goals. Students learn what opportunity cost is and identify the opportunity costs of savings.
This is another piece of literature that students can relate to. Plus, it has great graphics that the students will love. Young Booker T. Washington had a dream. That dream was to use the resources at his disposal to earn the money necessary to get an education that would allow him and others to become financially secure. This lesson based on the book "Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington" by Jabari Asim challenges students to make connections between history and economics.
This book would make a great tie-in with math and especially estimation, because this is exactly what happens in the book. This book would also be a great tie-in with social studies because of the time period the story is written in.
I have not used this resource yet but I just received the book. Using this video that I found with the book will be most effective. William Kamkwamba's book "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind," written with Bryan Mealer shares his true story of a boy whose great idea and perseverance lit up his home and inspired the world.
My students love learning about students from other countries. Students read the story Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story and learn about effects of apartheid in South Africa. They also learn about the relationship between investment in human capital and income by examining several careers and the skills required for those careers. Using math skills, students compare the number of people in various occupations and interpret and analyze educational attainment data from graphs and tables.
I have seen this book read at various Economics workshops. I can see how emotional this story makes many adults there. It is important to be told. Our students need to understand about our history as to not repeat it. This story also teaches perseverance, among other concepts. Students listen to the book Uncle Jed's Barbershop, about an African-American barber who, despite significant setbacks, saves enough money to buy his own barbershop. From the story, students learn a lot about savings.
This video shows Beatrice's story. I have used this video to help my auditory and visual students. It's nothing like them seeing that Beatrice is a real woman, and how her story has impacted many around the world.