Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble With Money

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Introduction and Summary

In Trouble With Money, by Stan and Jan Berenstain, Brother and Sister Bear are very good at spending money.  Any time they receive money from a grandparent or from a neighbor, they run to the Country Mall and spend it all.  One day their mother decides they should start receiving an allowance  so that they may learn the value of money.  Their father says that they should instead earn their money so Brother and Sister Bear decide to start doing odd jobs to make money.  They begin to make a lot of money.  When their father finds out that they start to sell the family’s secret location of the best honey trees he gets very upset.  At the end of the story the little bears give their father all of their hard earned money so that he won’t have any worries about money.  The cubs have learned a lesson!  Finally they get to go to the bank to put the money into a savings account to earn interest.  A great story for any child that is learning about the value of saving money.

Curriculum Connections

Trouble With Money could be a useful resource for first grade students that are learning about the value of money and about saving and spending.  Students could have this book read to them or try to read it themselves.  Then they could write a short passage about what they would do if they were given an allowance, save it or spend it.  Students should be encouraged to think about money in a postive way. (VA SOL’s 1.7, 1.8, 1.9)

Additional Resources

  • Planet Orange - Virtual lessons on saving and spending money for kids.

General Information

Book:  The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble With Money
Author:  Stan and Jan Berenstain
Illustrator:  Stain and Jan Berenstain
Publisher: Random House Inc.
Publication Date: 1983
Pages: 30
Grade Range: K-2
ISBN: 0-394-85917-0