Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: Goods and Services

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Goods and Services, written by Janeen R. Adil, is a book designed to help introduce children to the basic world of money and economics, how money and economics affects them on a daily basis, and why money and economics are important to their world.

This book is explains and illustrates main monetary and economic principles that make up our world, including: goods and services, consumers and producers, how taxes are related to government services and goods, and how income is made, saved, and used to buy goods and services.  All of these premises are explained through a variety of examples connected to real-world situations most children can easily relate to through their past or current experiences.  Because economics is such an important and real part of everyone’s life, the book contains real-life photos versus illustrations in order to help children connect economic meanings to the world around them.  In trying to connet these concepts to the current world, the author has inserted ”fun facts” into the book which offers both vital and current statistics on the specific principle being discussed.

As a bonus, the book provides a glossary, links to internet sites, an activity idea, and other literature resources as tools to help reiterate understanding of the econimic principles explored within the book, and can be used by teachers, students, and parents.  Also near the end of the book, the author dedicates a page connecting past history with today in order to illustrate how taxes have been around for almost 5,000 years by the Anciet Egyptians.

While this book is filled with all of the essential information students need to learn about economics, it does an excellent job in providing examples and pictures to illustrate the relevancy of economic concepts in an easy to understand, meaningful way.

Curriculum Connections

Goods and Services serves as an excellent and useful resource to help teach, reinforce, and emphasize the first grade learning objectives of economics in accordance with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL’s).   Explaining the difference between goods and services, and how people are consumers and producers of goods and services, (SOL 1.7) is the focus throughout the entire book, as well as illustrating the importance of having to save money for the future purchase of goods and services (SOL 1.9) through a litany of real-world examples.

Additional Resources

  • ProTeacher is an amazing website solely dedicated to teachers of all elementary grades that provides a wide collection of lesson plans, printable worksheets, project themes, and ideas for setting up a classroom economy on an array of economic premises, including how financial markets and the stock market work.  This site also provides a blog and chat room for teachers to share their experiences on teaching economics within the classroom.

  • EconEd Link is a comprehensive website that provides teachers with incredibly detailed lesson plans that include all the resources needed to effectively teach students about goods/services and consumers/producers.  The lesson that is linked has been contributed by Nancy Sedivy and is adaptable for students in kindergarten – second grade   The lesson provides links to several interactive games students can utilize, resource links to worksheets and activities, assessment tools to measure student understanding, and several ideas for extension activities.

  • MoneyInstructor.com is a website designed for teachers, students, and parents alike and is devoted to help students ranging from kindergarten – sixth grade learn about all aspects of economics.  This site includes a variety of resources that teachers can use within the classroom, students can access at home, and parents can use as a resource to help their children’s growing knowledge of economics.  There is a wide range of economic principles provided on this site, including the basic premise of money and what it is, how to differenciate between needs and wants, the importance of saving, spending, and sharing, and why taxes are put on goods and certain services.  All of these economic principles provide a variety of worksheets, games, and acitivity ideas to enforce children’s understanding.  Also, because this site is designed for grades kindergarten – sixth grade, teachers, students, and parents have the ability to move at their own pace in relation to their individual learning abilities.

Book: Goods and Services
Author: Janeen R. Adil
Publisher:
Capstone Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2006
Pages: 24pp
Grade Range: First Grade
ISBN-13: 978-0736853958