Third graders at Freedom Elementary recently became entrepreneurs – making their own products and selling them to their fellow students – and along the way they learned about product demand, profit and loss. The process was part of an economics problem-based learning unit in Amanda Burton and Debbie Ogden’s classes at Freedom.
The students were given a list of supplies that they could purchase and then they had to come up with a product to make and sell to their peers. The problem they had to figure out was how they could make a product at a low cost and still manage to earn a profit. This included talking about what other third graders may want, or in other words, learning what the demand for their item might be. On Feb. 22, the two classes set up all of their products to sell in the school cafeteria. Other third grade classes were invited to shop and purchase items with their two play dollars they were given to spend. The visitors had a great time buying the items. Parents also attended to cheer on their kids.
Once students sold their products, they had to subtract their production cost from the amount they received in order to see if they earned a profit. Students then had to talk and write about what they would do differently the next time and what they learned from this project.