Follow caveman Ump in his economic venture selling Fwats in Ump’s Fwat: An Annual Report for Young People by Marilyn Sadler. “In the beginning… the club was one of man’s most useful tools. He used it to settle arguments, to hunt the short- tempered wooly mammoth… and, most importantly, to play fwap.” These clubs, or fwats, were used to play a game called fwap which is the caveman version of baseball. One day, the players realize that Ump’s fwat seems to allow for a quicker, more accurate swing, and therefore hit the furthest. Ump realizes that his design for his fwat is what makes it the best and he realizes that he has created a product others want.
“Ump realized he had a MARKETABLE PRODUCT in his hands. For if he were to make fwats for fwap players all over the world, he would get, in return, many flinks.” (Flinks is a term for caveman money) Ump, with his friends and supports as investors, begins a business selling fwats. Ump bought tools, hired employees, and gained more investors which allowed him to expand his business and maximize his profits. “His shareholders, in turn, began to make huge DIVIDENDS from Ump’s growing PROFITS.”
Filled with funny quotes and silly characters, Ump’s Fwat is the perfect book to introduce students to a unit on economics. Rich in economic vocabulary and with an easy to follow plot, this story is perfect for 3th to 4th graders. This story has a plot appropriate for any age but in terms of vocabulary this book works best with in upper elementary classrooms. Vocabulary such as savings, investment, product, employees, profit, dividends, demand, and stock are just some of the words that are bolded and defined throughout Umps journey into the business world. Teachers can use this story to introduce or enforce economic vocabulary, inform students about the process of building a business, or to discuss subjects such as supply and demand or the stock market.
Virginia Standards of Learning- 3.7 The student will explain how producers use natural resources (particularly wood), human resources (people at work), and capital resources (tools, machines, and buildings) to produce goods and services for consumers.
- The Powell Center for Economic Literacy Publications- This website contains links to read Ump’s Fwat online or to watch the Ump’s Fwat video.
- The article: Elementary Students Understand Economics and Master the Woolly Mammoth Burger, from the Kentucky Teacher Newsletter describes how some classrooms have integrated Ump’s Fwat into their economics curriculum by creating their own production line.
- In many schools, fourth grade classrooms compete in a Stock Market Game online and use Ump’s Fwat as their introduction to the game.
- Econopolis is a great resource for kids to learn about economics. Join Mega Money, your host, in learning all about economic topics and definitions that go along with Ump’s Fwat.
Book: Ump’s Fwat: An Annual Report for Young People
Author: Marilyn Sadler
Illustrator: Roger Bollen
Publisher: Fieggie International Inc.
Publication Date: 1980
Grade Range: 3rd- 4th grade