Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District News Article

Fourth Graders Become Business Owners During Economics Lesson

two students with clay figures

June 11, 2019 -- Boulevard’s 4th grade students are Open for Business. The three classes put their economics knowledge to good use recently as groups of students brainstormed, created and sold unique products at their second annual Entrepreneurship Fair.

Using funds secured by teacher Sherri Bellini from the Heights Schools Foundation's Shark Tank competition, groups of two to four students spent several weeks planning their product, researching and purchasing the necessary raw materials to create it, actually making it, and then preparing the advertising necessary to market it to their target audience: each other.

Students used ideas gleaned from two novels, Lunch Money and Lemonade Wars, along with concepts taught as part of their social studies curriculum on economics, including budgets, investment, resources, consumers versus producers, risk analysis, and the all important practice of up-charging to earn a profit. 

Products ranged from tie-dye t-shirts and jewelry to homemade soaps and slime to terrariums and gumball machines. One group, that made tiny animal figurines out of a clay-like substance, listed the wrong ingredients on their original proposal. “But they had to make it work,” said teacher Laura Preston. “These girls modeled persistence.”

Another group created mesmerizing snow globes filled with glitter and butterflies. “Just looking at these could help someone calm down when they feel mad or frustrated,” said one of the group’s producers.

At the Entrepreneurship Fair on May 17, the groups displayed their items along with posters describing their products using tips and tricks of the advertising trade. Each student was given tickets worth $10 so they could purchase items from their classmates. The gumball machines were the first to sell out. “You have to know your target audience,” said teacher Julie Walker. 

After an initial round of buying and selling, the young entrepreneurs were able to reevaluate their price point to find the sweet spot of a product that’s appealing to consumers while still making a profit. Groups had a chance to reflect afterwards by writing down what worked, what didn’t and what they would change if they were to do it again. Ms. Walker admitted that some teams were disappointed, “but we really want them to be reflective because that’s where the learning truly takes place.”
Boys with tie-dye shirts
two students with wallets and sign

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