Economic Lesson Stuffs Stockings

Student shoppers eye homemade play dough

Marshmallow-y, chocolatey Snowman Soup, Tic-tac-toe games packaged in burlap bags, colorful ornaments, glass magnets and other crafty items will fill the stockings of parents and siblings of Gladiola Elementary students, thanks to some business-savvy students.

The school recently was transformed into the “Wolves Warehouse” Christmas marketplace, as students from kindergarten to fourth-grade classes sold items they created to students and parents.

Fourth-grader Yenilka Torres picks out a fuzzy-topped pencil
Fourth-grader Yenilka Torres picks out a fuzzy-topped pencil

It was a school-wide lesson in economics as well as a way to share holiday cheer, said fourth-grade teacher Mindy Harris. Rather than offer an adult-run holiday gift shop, students learned grade-level concepts of running a business, like producers and consumers, supply and demand and opportunity cost.

“It’s a real-world connection to economics instead of just spending money,” Harris said.

Each class chose an item to make, set the price and created advertising. Donations and teachers covered initial costs, and each class got to choose how to spend its profits.

Harris’ fourth-graders very quickly sold out of the glass magnets they made and peddled for 50 cents each. Student Dion Idrizi was excited.

“It feels good because everyone wants to buy our magnets, and we will get some money and make a profit,” Dion said.

Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2012. Read Erin's full bio

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